Black Lung Rule Sent To White House

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A federal plan to tackle the resurgence of black lung disease by controlling coal dust in U.S. mines has been sent to the White House.

The Charleston Gazette reports the Mine Safety and Health Administration submitted a final draft of its rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday. That office must review it before a final version is issued.

The rule was proposed nearly three years ago. U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia wrote to President Barack Obama earlier this month urging an end to delays on the rule.

Federal statistics show more than 9,600 coal miners died of black lung nationwide between 1996 and 2005. Pennsylvania had the highest number of deaths and West Virginia had the second highest.