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Andrew Adams reportingFederal mining officials are updating what they're doing to try to improve safety in the nation's mines.
There is progress. Officials have improved plans for escapes and rescues under the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006.
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) administrator Richard Stickler says parts of the act that have been implemented are aimed at helping after disasters. He said, "Some of the provisions, certainly, are directed toward providing technology to help people that would be in an underground accident, communications systems."
Under the act, mines are supposed to be equipped with wireless communications systems by 2009, but that's not going to happen. Stickler said, "We do not see that technology at this time."
Stickler also uttered words no miner's family in Utah wants to hear. He said, "I don't think that there's any provisions that would prevent a Crandall Canyon mine accident."
MSHA is cracking down on violators. The administration handed out $75 million in fines in 2007, that's up $40 million from the year before.