On July 31, MSHA published a proposed rule that makes significant changes to its existing civil penalty regulations. Aggregates operators should familiarize themselves with the proposed changes and consider the potential impact on their operations. As part of the metal/non-metal segment, aggregate operations would likely face higher penalties. The average projected penalty decreases from $876 to $815 for penalties assessed at coal mines, but would increase from $459 to $480 for penalties at metal/non-metal mines. Total penalties for the coal sector are projected to decline from $3.9 million, while total penalties for metal/non-metal are expected to increase by $1.2 million. Interested parties have until Sept. 29, 2014 to submit comments on the proposed rule.