Posts Tagged ‘imminent danger’
Friday, February 3, 2012 @ 11:02 AM gHale
Parts of CONSOL Energy’s Enlow Fork Mine in Washington County, PA, needed to shut down for about an hour due because of an imminent danger order from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Inspectors found a concentration of methane above the permitted 1 percent in the working area, according to MSHA’s records.
“That was a result of inadequate ventilation,” said Tom Light, MSHA’s district manager.
The condition was first an imminent danger, but they resolved the problem in less than an hour and the MSHA vacated the order. CONSOL disclosed the event in an SEC filing Thursday in accordance with new requirements set by the Dodd-Frank Act that went into effect Jan. 27.
Two days before that, a contractor at the mine, Ohio-based San-Con Industries Inc. which makes concrete silos and stacking tubes, had an accident and was ordered to “hold the scene” — stop operations — while MSHA inspectors completed their investigation, which happened Feb. 1.
The Enlow mine has had more than two dozen citations since the beginning of the year, but given the size of the operation, Light said that’s actually on the low side.
“We view this mine as actually a model operation,” Light said. “Most of the infractions are relatively insignificant” and don’t place workers in danger.
The Enlow Fork mine produced 9.1 million tons of steam coal last year and 1.1 million tons of high-vol metallurgical coal. It is one of CONSOL’s three mining operations in Pennsylvania and the second most productive mine in the company’s national portfolio.
Monday, December 19, 2011 @ 04:12 PM gHale
It is official: A federal judge in Lafayette, LA, OK’d a $10 million fine and $2 million in community service payments for Texas-based Pelican Refining Company LLC for felony violations of the Clean Air Act and obstruction of justice.
The Justice Department said Pelican admitted to several violations at its Lake Charles refinery, including the use of required equipment that did not work or did not undergo proper maintenance. Also, a pilot light in a flare tower where gases burn off didn’t work — so employees used an emergency flare gun to re-ignite the gases.
Pelican pleaded guilty and agreed to the payments in October.
“This conviction sends a message to all those who threaten Louisiana’s precious environment that if they ignore their duty to adhere to the environmental laws, they will be investigated, prosecuted, fined and sentenced accordingly,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley.
The Justice Department said Byron Hamilton, the Pelican vice president who oversaw operations at the Lake Charles refinery since 2005 from an office in Houston pleaded guilty on July 6 to negligently placing persons in imminent danger of death and serious bodily injury as a result of releases at the refinery.
On Oct. 31, Pelican’s former asphalt facilities manager, Mike LeBleu, pleaded guilty to a negligent endangerment charge under the Clean Air Act. Each man will get a sentence to up to a year in prison.