Blog Archives

NEW analysis: Black lung benefits fall dramatically behind cost of living for sick miners and their families

normal human lung compared to diseased lung

A new analysis from Appalachian Voices and Appalachian Citizens Law Center finds that the cost of living is significantly higher than black lung benefits payments received by many miners with black lung and their families, illustrating the urgent need for congressional action to update how benefits are calculated and deployed.

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Four ways you can support Appalachian communities in the new year!

In 2023, Appalachian advocates made several advancements in the fight for greater protections for rural communities and families affected by black lung but as we enter 2024, an ongoing battle in Congress over spending is threatening to undo much of this progress while also cutting programs that benefit these communities.

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5,200+ comments from across the country support strengthening silica dust rule as comment period concludes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 12, 2023 CONTACT Trey Pollard, trey@pollardcommunications.com, 202-904-9187 COAL COUNTRY – Last night at midnight EST, the 45-day comment period on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s draft rule to protect coal miners from exposure to respirable

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What the government spending fight means for Appalachia

An aerial photo shows a business called Breeding's Plumbing & Electric. A brick sign and three flags stand on the opposite side of the parking lot.

Leaders in the Senate and the House need to come together to negotiate a final deal in order to keep the government funded. Appalachian Voices will keep fighting to fund these crucial programs and agencies to help protect coal mining communities and transition to clean energy.

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Miners, advocates voice their concerns about MSHA’s proposed silica rule

Deputy Assistant Secretary Patricia Silvey moderated the silica hearing on Aug. 10.

Coal miners and black lung advocates filled several back rows of the auditorium at the Mine Safety and Health Administration Academy just outside of Beckley, West Virginia, on the morning of Aug. 10th to provide comments on the agency’s draft rule to protect miners from respirable silica dust.

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New Draft Safety Standard for Exposure to Silica Dust

A man in a black t-shirt speaks at a podium behind a sign depicting a skeleton wearing a miner's hat that says BlackLungKills.org in black lettering. A banner that says Black Lung Association is draped over a table behind him and a statue of a miner rises above them in the background.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s proposed new regulations would reduce worker exposure to silica dust, but advocates say better enforcement measures are needed.

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Upcoming public hearings should highlight weaknesses of new silica rule proposal

xrays of black lung sufferers, Photo by CDC-NIOSH

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is planning three hybrid hearings on its proposed rule to strengthen silica exposure standards for coal miners. These hearings will give miners and their advocates an opportunity to point out some of the weaknesses of the proposal.

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Appalachian senators introduce bill to support families of deceased miners

Today, Sens. Mark Warner (VA), Tim Kaine (VA), Joe Manchin (WV), Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey (PA) and John Fetterman (PA) introduced legislation to ease the process for families of deceased miners to apply for black lung benefits. Surviving dependents can apply to receive black lung benefits after a miner’s death, but filing for benefits is complex and burdensome.

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Advocates, coal miners applaud progress towards new silica dust rule

normal human lung compared to diseased lung

Today, the Biden Administration’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released a long-delayed draft rule to protect coal miners from exposure to respirable silica — the principal cause of the resurgence of deadly black lung disease.

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Advocates to Biden admin. on silica dust rule delays: “The longer the administration waits, the more miners will suffer and die”

Images shows miners wearing black lung kills t-shirts lobbying Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 29, 2023 CONTACT: Trey Pollard, trey@pollardcommunications.com, 202-904-9187 COAL COUNTRY – Today, 28 groups sent a letter to the Biden Administration urging the release of a long-delayed rule to protect coal miners from exposure to respirable silica

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