* Yes, but only based on criteria established through rulemaking
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As with most concepts, the devil is in the details. What is an "unsafe" mine? One with many alleged violations (which have not been proven), with a lot of finally adjudicated violations (and, if so, all violations or just S&S)? Or would the definition of "unsafe" linked to injury rates ... or raw numbers? As we have seen from Pattern of Violations, MSHA can change the definition at will of what constitutes an unsafe mine and giving the agency arbitrary power to "shut down" any mines it views as "unsafe" (especially if based on "issued" but not proven violations) would be a horrible idea.
I agree with safetylawyer. MSHA has shown a penchant for abusing its authority, so giving it power to shutter a mine is risky business. But there apparently are unsafe mines, and they give the entire industry a black eye when disaster strikes them. The Mine Safety Training and Technology Commission, which was made up of a cross-section of mining stakeholders, advised years ago that the bad guys be forced out of the business. But how is this to be done while still protecting their due process rights?
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