Changes to Procedural Rules

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The Commission last significantly revised its procedural rules, 29 CFR part 2700, in August 2006. 71 FR 44,190 (Aug. 4, 2006). Since that time, the Commission has identified several rules that require revision or clarification in order to aid the efficient adjudication of proceedings at the Commission’s trial and appellate levels. For instance, confusion has arisen in discrimination proceedings brought pursuant to section 105(c)(3) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 815(c)(3), regarding when a decision on the merits of discrimination becomes ripe for review. The Commission proposes changing procedures relating to section 105(c)(3) discrimination proceedings in order to make them more consistent with procedures relating to discrimination proceedings brought pursuant to section 105(c)(2) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 815(c)(2). Such changes are intended to provide greater clarity and to eliminate unnecessary delay.

In order to provide transparency as to its processes, the Commission has proposed both new rules and revisions to its current rules that reflect the Commission’s actual practices. The Commission has proposed adding new Commission Procedural Rule 32 which pertains to motions to reopen orders that have become final as the result of a failure to make a timely filing. The Commission has also proposed new Commission Procedural Rule 72 which describes the method by which the Commission empanels Commissioners, as authorized by section 113(c) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 823(c). The Commission has proposed adding provisions to § 2700.5(e) for protecting sensitive commercial information, and for placing sensitive documents under Commission seal. In addition, the Commission has proposed numerous changes with respect to § 2700.80, which more fully describe the Commission’s process for investigating and making determinations in disciplinary proceedings.

Finally, the Commission has proposed more technical changes. A number of changes are necessitated by the evolution of the Commission’s electronic management of its dockets. In addition, the Commission has proposed a number of corrections and stylistic changes to word usage throughout its rules.

The proposed changes are described more fully in the attached PDF.  

PDF Federal Register/Vol. 85, No. 194/Tuesday, October 6, 2020/Proposed Rules