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House passes improved mine safety measures

Oct. 31, 2007 at 4:30 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A U.S. House of Representatives committee passed a new set of improved mine safety regulations on Wednesday in the wake of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster.

Based in part on the fatal mine collapse at Utah's Crandall Canyon Mine August 6, the new safety measures were created with the goal of ensuring miners' safety and health as much as possible, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D- Calif., said that the safety bill, passed by a vote of 26 to 18, should be able meet that lofty goal.

"Our aim is a simple one: We want to do everything we can to ensure that miners are able to return home safely at the end of their shifts," Miller said.

The legislation allows for additional oversight on riskier forms of mining, a public official to hear complaints from mining whistle-blowers and enhanced powers for the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Republicans on the committee opposed the legislation, saying it was simply was an attempt by Democrats to build on top of a recently passed law, the newspaper said.

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