Use of Belt Air in Underground Coal Mines -- with Special Emphasis on TSP Recommendations


The use of belt air in underground coal mines has been a continuous discussion since it was first introduced in the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act (Coal Act) of 1969. Although the Coal Act prohibits the use of belt air to ventilate active workings, there were two exceptions prior to the 2004 Final Rule. There have been several major studies/rule-proposals by MSHA since 1985 and the most recent of which is the Technical Study Panel (TSP) established by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006 to study the use of belt air and related issues. This paper reviews the history of belt air use, its associated controversies, and more specifically, the 20 recommendations unanimously approved by the TSP.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Air Quality; Underground Oxygenation; Ventilating and Oxygenating Mines

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2008