Feds: WV Mine Puts Miners at Risk

Thursday, July 10, 2014 @ 04:07 PM gHale

A Wyoming County, WV, coal mine received 38 violations after inspectors determined that conditions of the mine put miners at risk of developing black lung disease and increased the potential for deadly explosions.

The Rhino Eastern’s Eagle 3 Mine located near Glen Rogers, WV, received inspectors June 24 and they determined the mine operator failed to follow approved ventilation, methane and dust control plans in several locations of the underground mine, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) officials said Monday.

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“The alarming conditions found at Eagle Mine 3 show that common-sense practices to prevent black lung, mine explosions and other hazards were ignored,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “There is absolutely no excuse for allowing such dangerous conditions to exist, and miners deserve better.”

New dust regulations aimed at ending black lung, which Main said address the shortfall in dust controls found at Eagle Mine 3, go into effect on Aug. 1.

“The practices found at this mine highlight why we need these improved dust standards,” Main said.

Rhino Resource Partners, a nationwide coal producer, has a 51 percent equity interest in the Rhino Eastern joint venture, with Patriot Coal Corporation owning the remaining membership interest.

As of Dec. 31, 2013, the complex included an estimated 43.9 million tons of proven and probable premium mid-vol and low-vol metallurgical coal reserves, according to Rhino Resource’s website.

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