News & Analysis as of

Coal Mines

Mine Safety Agency Enhances Enforcement Of ‘Rules To Live By’ To Prevent Mining Fatalities

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said it has begun “enhanced” enforcement of its “Rules to Live By” initiative, regulating standards commonly linked to mine deaths, as well as nine underground coal mine exam...more

Mine Safety Agency Re-Launches Annual Program To Prevent Roof And Rib Fall Accidents

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said that it is re-launching its annual Preventive Roof/Rib Outreach Program (PROP) to expand awareness among coal miners and mine operators of roof and rib fall hazards. The...more

Mine Safety Agency Launches ‘Training Assistance Initiative’ For Miners With Less Experience

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Recent coal-mining deaths have prompted the Mine Safety and Health Administration to launch a voluntary “training assistance initiative” for miners with less than one year of experience in mining or in their current job, MSHA...more

The Devil is in the ... Biometric Scanner? Fourth Circuit Finds Employer Failed to Accommodate Employee’s Religious Belief

Just how far do you have to go to accommodate an employee’s off-the-beaten-path religious belief? The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that you at least have to give the same accommodations you give to disabled...more

Converting Environmental Liabilities to Assets: Repurposing Inactive and Abandoned Mine and Mineral Processing Sites

by Sullivan & Worcester on

Under the Brownfields Law of 2002, EPA and other federal agencies have established a variety of programs focused on promoting and funding the repurposing of abandoned mine lands (AMLs), broadly defined as lands, waters, and...more

[Webinar] MSHA Citations and Orders Beyond 104(A)’s - June 20th, 1:00pm ET

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

Most, if not all, operators have at one time or another received a 104(A) citation from MSHA. While operators may be aware the basic orders MSHA can issue, such as unwarrantable failures, there are numerous, lesser known...more

Met Coal Still a Hot Commodity But Coal Regulatory Enforcement Resources Have Cooled

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that metallurgical coal (or “met” coal) remains a sought-after commodity despite the general malaise of the coal industry as a whole. Met coal is a higher-grade coal than the thermal...more

[Webinar] MSHA's Most-Cited Standards and How to Avoid Them - May 17th, 1:00pm ET

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

MSHA’s published enforcement initiatives and Fatalgrams are an easy place to start when improving mine safety and proactively preparing sites for inspection, especially if you do your research. Reviewing MSHA’s most-cited...more

Coal Miners No Longer Left in the Dust: Update from the Cowboy State

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

After spending the weekend in Wyoming, I thought I would give you an update from my home state. As you may remember, I come from a long line of coal miners – back when the country was primarily powered by coal, the coal...more

Mine Safety Agency Issues Blasting Equipment Alert

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert advising employers to take precautions when storing, handling, transporting, and using explosives and detonators in underground coal mines near energized...more

How the President’s Executive Order Will Affect U.S. Oil, Natural Gas and Coal Industries

by Perkins Coie on

President Donald Trump’s recently signed Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (the Order) includes significant revisions to the regulatory landscape both (1) directly in the case of oil and...more

Federal Mine Safety Review Commission Authority Over Settlements Affirmed As Labor Department Drops Challenge

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

The panel that reviews mine safety and health cases has prevailed in recent federal court filings on the issue of whether it has the legal authority to approve settlements of penalties that MSHA reaches with mining employers....more

Mine Safety Agency to Award Up to $1 Million in Grants for Education, Training

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The Mine Safety and Health Administration will award up to $1 million in new grants for education and training programs to help identify, avoid, and prevent unsafe working conditions at mines in the United States as part of a...more

MSHA Announces Results of Special Impact Inspections From December 2016

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced the results of its monthly special impact inspections from December 2016. During the month, MSHA conducted inspections at 10 coal mines and...more

[Webinar] How to Contest MSHA Citations - March 16th, 1:00pm EDT

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

As MSHA continues to issue citations and orders, it is essential that mine operators are aware of their contest rights. Just as important, operators need to know how to contest MSHA issuances while adhering to contest process...more

Executive Orders Expected this Week Regarding Clean Air and Water Act Rules

by Nossaman LLP on

In addition to a January 20th Presidential Memorandum freezing all, not yet enacted, rules and sending them back to the agencies and Office of Management and Budget for reconsideration, and the utilization of the...more

EPA Has a Nondiscretionary Duty to Review West Virginia’s Failure to Submit TMDLs

Acting in response to state legislation, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ceased work on promulgation of total maximum daily loads related to ionic toxicity. Ionic toxicity is a consequence of...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects MSHA’s Claims That It Has Jurisdiction Over Coal Mining Machine Shop

In a case argued on February 1, 2017 and decided on February 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Maxxim Rebuild Co., LLC’s small manufacturing facility located in Sidney, Kentucky is not a “coal...more

Coal Plant Shutdown: Owners and Operators Need Vision – Part I

by McCarter & English, LLP on

Coal plant owners and operators can make a plant shutdown easier by planning now for the site’s future. This plan, or Vision, can help expedite shutdown efforts, reduce costs, improve relations with the local community, and...more

Utilizing the Congressional Review Act, Congress Moves Quickly to Repeal Numerous Obama-era Environmental Regulations

by Nossaman LLP on

On Feb 2nd, for the second time in as many weeks, the U.S. Senate, invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA), voted to repeal (i.e. “disapprove”) the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Surface Mining and...more

[Webinar] MSHA 101: Understanding The Mine Act and MSHA Policy - February 14th, 1:00pm EST

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

The Mine Act of 1977 governs all mine operators and grants MSHA authority over the industry. It, along with the MINER Act of 2006, also specifically outline the rights of miners and operators. Yet, while the Mine Act directs...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Criminal Conviction For “Reckless Disregard” of Mine Safety Laws

On January 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the criminal conviction of Donald Blankenship, the former Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Company (MEC), the operator of the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine...more

Mach Mining and Affiliated Companies to Pay $4.25 Million to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Suits

Federal Agency Alleged Foresight Energy Companies Discriminated Against Women in Hiring for Mining and Related Positions - CHICAGO -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) announced today that it has resolved two...more

[Webinar] 2017 MSHA Enforcement Initiatives and Rulemaking Outlook - Jan. 26th, 1:00pm EST

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

As we begin a new calendar year and look ahead to a new administration, industry should continue to stay informed as to MSHA’s regulatory agenda and enforcement initiatives. While MSHA will soon have new decision makers in...more

[Webinar] MSHA Hazard Complaints and Whistleblower Protections: Working Through Complaint Investigation - Dec. 15th, 1:00pm EST

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

Regular MSHA inspections (aka E01 inspections) are commonplace for mines – an average of two to four inspections per year for surface and underground operations respectively. Yet, MSHA has in its arsenal a host of other...more

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