The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“FMSHRC”) was created under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (“Mine Act”) to hear appeals of cases filed under the Mine Act. The FMSHRC consists of five Commissioners who are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Senate.
Marco Rajkovich, our prior law partner, was nominated by the President to serve on the FMSHRC in January 2018, but is still awaiting Senate confirmation. On August 30, 2018, the terms for two of the Commissioners – William Althen and Robert Cohen – expired.
That left only two Commissioners in place, so the FMSHRC is without its required quorum of three Commissioners.
On October 16, 2018, the President announced his intent to nominate two other Commissioners to the FMSHRC: William Althen (whose FMSRHC term had just expired), and union lawyer Arthur Traynor. Until at least one more Commissioner is confirmed, the Commission will be unable to decide cases on appeal. The FMSHRC has said that Motions to Reopen will be decided by the Chief Administrative Law Judge.