Respirable dust provisions of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 are designed to protect the most important resource of the coal mining industry--its workers. The act imposes two respirable dust standards of 3.0 Milligrams per cubic meter of air after June 30, 1970, and 2.4 Milligrams per cubic meter of air after December 30, 1972. Under federal regulations, each operator is required to carry out a dust sampling program established by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. This program features the sampling of "high risk" face workers to establish that the exposure of each miner is below the dust standard. Mining sections, continuously in compliance with the regulations, may sample at less frequent intervals. In addition to requiring the mining company to take respirable dust samples, the Bureau of Mines will perform in- depth dust inspections twice a year, as well as frequent "spot inspections." The Bureau has established a semiautomatic computerized operation capable of processing over 1 million samples per year. This facility will be linked to various Bureau offices by a telecommunications system to provide automatic data printouts within hours after samples have been weighed.