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A bill under consideration in West Virginia would reduce enforcement of state coal mining safety regulations.
Senate Bill 582, introduced on Saturday, would prevent state investigators from conducting inspections at mines, replacing them with a “compliance assistance visit” if a safety violation occurs, according to a copy of the bill posted online. Under S.B. 582, coal mine inspectors would be required to examine facilities once a year instead of four times a year.
In addition, S.B. 582 would eliminate the Coal Mine Safety and Technical Review Committee, the Mine Inspectors Examining Board, the Board of Miner Training, Education, and Certification, and the West Virginia Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety, according to the bill’s text.
The bill is pending in the state Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining committee.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday proposed a rule mandating that workplace examinations of metal and nonmetal mines take place prior to miners' exposure to hazards instead of after a miner dies or is injured.