Citations Handed Out at 11 West Virginia Coal Mines

By: WSAZ News Staff, The Associated Press Email
By: WSAZ News Staff, The Associated Press Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Federal inspectors issued 320 citations and orders during September's special impact inspections at 18 coal mines across the US.

The coal mines received 292 citations and 28 orders, the Mine Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday.

MSHA began impact inspections last year after Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine exploded, killing 29 men.

11 of the 18 coal mines that received citations and orders are in West Virginia. Five of those are owned by Alpha Natural Resources, making up for 106 of the citations.

The Parker Peerless Mine, in Raleigh County, W.Va., owned by Alpha Natural Resource Inc. and operated by Marfork Coal Company, received 37 citations.

The Allegiance Mine in Boone County, W.Va., owned by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and operated by Independence Coal Company Inc., received 4 citations.

The Eagle #1 Mine, in Raleigh County, W.Va., owned by Rhino Resource Partners LP and operated by Rhino Eastern LLC, received 19 citations.

The Eagle Mine in Boone County, W.Va., owned by Robert E. Ellis and operated by Newton Energy Inc., received 8 citations.

The Horse Creek Eagle Mine, in Raleigh County, W.Va., owned by Alpha Natural Resources and operated by Marfork Coal Company, received 44 citations and 4 orders.

The Deep Mine No. 8, in Wayne County, W.Va., owned by James H. Booth and operated by Argus Energy WV LLC, received 14 orders.

The Aracoma Alma Mine #1, in Logan County, W.Va., owned by Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. and operated by Aracoma Coal Company Inc., received 10 citations. A 2006 fire at this mine killed two men.

The Coalburg No 2 Mine, in Logan County, W.Va., owned by Richard H. Abraham and operated by Rio Group, Inc., received 18 citations and 1 order.

The No. 8 Mine, in Mingo County, W.Va., owned by James River Coal Company and operated by Rockhouse Creek Development, LLC, received 10 citations and 6 orders.

The other West Virginia mines that received citations/orders are in McDowell and Wyoming Counties.

Three Kentucky mines were on the list, including two in Harlan County and one in Letcher County.

One of those mines, D&C Mining Corp. in Harlan County, investigators seized phone lines to prevent workers from learning of their arrival. That inspection resulted in 19 orders and citations, 16 of which were designated significant and substantial violations.

An imminent danger order was issued when the inspection team found a cigarette lighter near the continuous mining machine. It was the second time since February that smoking articles were found underground at that mine. Lighters and matches could ignite explosive substances such as coal dust.

MSHA also issued two withdrawal orders after finding inadequate roof and rib supports and inadequate rock dusting in the mine. Pulverized limestone is used in mines to render coal dust inert.

"The closure order is still one of the most effective tools inspectors have to bring about compliance, even during impact inspections," MSHA chief Joe Main said in a news release. "We will not hesitate to use this and other enforcement tools to protect the nation's miners."

Citations and orders were also given out at mines in Pennslyvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Illinois.


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