Blog Archives

Congressional hearing highlights issues with black lung benefits program

On Wednesday, senators on a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee led by Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, held a hearing and listened to testimony from miner advocates and experts on mine safety and the black lung benefits program.


Biden Admin Finalizes Silica Rule Update

A new federal rule would cut miners’ exposure to silica dust, but miners and their advocates have concerns about whether industry will follow the new rule under the current enforcement mechanisms.


Rule to protect miners from silica falls short

In April, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced the final version of a rule meant to protect coal miners from respirable silica. The announcement was a long time coming.


Appalachian Voices sees a missed opportunity with new rule to protect miners from black lung disease

Yesterday the Biden administration’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that it finalized a rule to protect miners from respirable silica — a significant driver of the resurgence of black lung disease in Central Appalachia.


SWVA advocates urge Congress to fight for investments to tackle growing black lung crisis

With coal miners in Southwestern Virginia facing an epidemic as black lung disease hits unprecedented levels and 1 in 5 veteran coal miners in Central Appalachia now suffer from the disease, advocates today called on Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and Sens. Warner and Kaine, D-Va. to prioritize investments in taking care of miners in the 2025 federal budget.


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.


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.


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,, 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


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.


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.


Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube