News & Analysis as of

Coal Mines

[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

Mine Safety Agency Issues Electrical Safety Alert

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued an electrical safety alert after several miners were injured in underground coalmine accidents. In one incident, a miner working near a 480 VAC scoop charger circuit...more

What Now? U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Post-Election Outlook

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: With a dramatic change from a progressive democratic to a conservative republican administration, we anticipate that EPA is not only likely to pivot away from an enforcement heavy to a more business...more

Environmental Notes - November 2016

by Williams Mullen on

EPA has revised its procedures for making certain changes to its “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846. The test method and its compendium of guidance documents provide...more

[Webinar] Navigating Multi-Employer Mine Sites Liability and Enforcement - November 15th, 1:00p.m. EST

by Conn Maciel Carey LLP on

Independent contractors are a vital element to the mining industry. Mine operators call upon their expertise daily at mines around the country. But what happens when an independent contractor arrives at your mine site? This...more

41% Increase in Citations to Mine Operators

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Special impact inspections in July that covered 13 states resulted in 161 citations, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced. This is a 41-percent increase from the 114 citations issued the previous month....more

A Lumber Mill Biomass CoGen Need Not Consider Other Fuels In Its BACT Analysis. Other Sources Should Be So Lucky.

Ever since EPA began considering how BACT analysis would be applied to greenhouse gas emissions, there has been concern that EPA would use its BACT authority to “redefine the source” – with the particular concern that BACT...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Have Cyber Protection Obligations Even After Closing

by McCarter & English, LLP on

As Yogi Berra used to say: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Coal plant operators shutting down their plants should remember this phrase. Even after they throw the breakers, go off the grid, are no longer contributing to the...more

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