Veteran Mine Inspector Named W.Va. Safety Chief

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 12/31/12 @ 3:10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A longtime mine inspector and safety official will now head such in West Virginia.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Eugene White on Monday as director for the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.

White most recently has been the agency's acting deputy director. He's been with the agency since 2001. He's also served on the state's mine emergency team.

White replaces C.A. Phillips, who announced plans earlier this month to retire Monday.

Phillips was acting director and then director for just over two years.

White is the third person to head Miners' Health, Safety and Training since the April 2010 disaster at Upper Big Branch. Twenty-nine men were killed in the Raleigh County explosion, the worst loss of life at a U.S. coal mine in decades.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A federal audit says the Mine Safety and Health Administration has addressed concerns over its inspection and enforcement actions but there are still lapses.

The audit by the Labor Department's inspector general says these problems have been repeatedly identified following mining disasters in 2006, 2007 and 2010.

According to the audit, MSHA addressed nearly all of the recommendations made by an earlier audit that criticized an internal accountability office created to monitor the agency's performance.

But the new audit says MSHA continues to face challenges in administering a successful accountability program.

The Associated Press reported the audit's findings.

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