On January 20, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. appointed Commissioner Arthur R. Traynor III to serve as chair of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC). Traynor replaces former mine industry lawyer Marco M. Rajkovich Jr., who had been chair since his appointment to the FMSHRC in 2019. Traynor has been a commissioner since March 2019. Prior to becoming a commissioner, Traynor was associate general counsel of the United Mine Workers of America.
Commissioner Rajkovich remains on the FMSHRC, as does William I. Althen, who also is a former mine industry lawyer. There are currently two open seats on the FMSHRC. Commissioners are appointed to the FMSHRC by presidential nomination with confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
The FMSHRC is an adjudicative agency that presides over legal disputes brought under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), including contests of citations and orders issued by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and cases brought by the U.S. secretary of labor against mine operators, alleging discrimination based on protected activity under the Mine Act.