US Mine Safety and Health Administration issues more than 200 vi - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

US Mine Safety and Health Administration issues more than 200 violations to 13 mines, 4 in West Virginia

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  • Many WV coal counties losing revenue

    Many WV coal counties losing revenue

    Monday, August 8 2016 10:15 AM EDT2016-08-08 14:15:05 GMT

    As Appalachian coal production continues its drastic decline, West Virginia’s coal-producing counties are  not only losing people as lifelong residents are forced to flee their homes in order to find work, but in many cases, they’re also relinquishing millions of dollars from their budgets.

    As Appalachian coal production continues its drastic decline, West Virginia’s coal-producing counties are  not only losing people as lifelong residents are forced to flee their homes in order to find work, but in many cases, they’re also relinquishing millions of dollars from their budgets.

The United States Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced July 24 that federal inspectors issued 186 citations, 25 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at 11 coal mines, including four West Virginia mines, and two metal and nonmetal mines in June.

The monthly inspection, which were first implemented as a result of the April 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion, involved mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns, the agency said.

As a result of the inspection, Rhino Eastern LLC’s Eagle Mine 3 near Glen Rogers received 31 citations, seven orders and one safeguard; Consolidation Coal Company’s Shoemaker Mine in Dallas, West Virginia, received 27 citations; Hobet Mining LLC’s Beth Station No. 79 Prep Plant near Danville received one citation; and Baylor Mining Inc.’s Beckley Crystal mine near Pineville seven citations in the inspection.

In the impact inspection at Eagle Mine 3, MSHA found dozens of violations in which the mine operator failed to follow approved ventilation, methane and dust control plans, which resulted in closure orders, the announcement stated.

“Conditions found at both Rhino and Cherokee (Mine in Dickenson County, Virginia) that led to closure orders put miners at risk of explosions,” Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, said in a statement. “The dust conditions at the Rhino mine also exposed miners to black lung disease. The new respirable dust regulations, which go into effect on Aug. 1, are aimed at curbing the disease and will address these type of operator shortfalls,” he said.

Other mines that received citations were located throughout Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana and Utah.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 780 impact inspection and issued 12,627 citations, 1,170 orders and 54 safeguards.

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