Author Archives: Kendall Burton

UMWA concerns about West Virginia H.B. 2875


Concerns about West Virginia’s House Bill 2875 are rising due to changes in safety protocols and reductions in the length of apprenticeships. “United Mine Worker’s Association President Cecil E. Roberts voiced concerns over numerous other aspects of the bill in a Feb. 11 press release, including provisions to:

  • No longer permit a miner representative to accompany an inspector during his or her inspection.
  • Alter requirements for ventilation of mines and ventilation plans. The bill would allow a mine operator to obtain an approved ventilation plan from the Mine Safety and Health Administration rather than submitting his or her own detailed plan for review.
  • Reduce to 45 from 120 the amount of days apprentice miners must work under the supervision of experienced miners upon beginning work” (Safety and Health Magazine, 2019).

Read more here
https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/18177-labor-union-shares-concerns-about-outrageous-west-virginia-mining-bill

Below is the link to West Virginia H.B. 2875

http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Text_HTML/2019_SESSIONS/RS/bills/hb2875%20intr.pdf


US DOL: Senior Level Former Coal Company Officials In Kentucky Charged For Defrauding Regulators About Black-Lung Causing Risks To Miners

Category : News

“United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman announced the charging of an additional former supervisor and safety official from Armstrong Coal, in addition to the eight previous officials charged by a federal grand jury, for conspiracy to defraud an agency of the United States government by deceit, trickery, and dishonest means. “

Read more below in the US DOLs News release:
https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/msha/msha20190227


$291 million to Clean Up and Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

Category : News

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has announced that more than $291 million in funds will be distributed to states and tribes in an effort to eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by former coal mining. The most allocated will be going to Wyoming, who is receiving $87,833,889.

Click below for the US Department of the Interiors News Release.
https://www.osmre.gov/resources/newsroom/News/2019/031919_AMLdistribution.pdf

Click below to see an article on it pertaining to IN.
https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/indiana-gets-8.1m-to-clean,-repurpose-old-coal-mines.php


News on Federal Black Lung Funding

Congress established the Black Lung trust fund in 1978. The tax rate used to fund it expired on Dec. 31, 2018, and has since been cut in half, leaving many beneficiaries uncertain of what will happen next.

Below are links to articles regarding the current state of federal Black Lung funding.

  • AP News Break: Congress’ Inaction Endangers Black Lung Fund
  • NY Times: With Black Lung Fund in Jeopardy, Taxpayers Could Fit the Bill
  • KHN: Expected Shortfalls For Black Lung Fund Will Be Covered By Taxpayers Instead Of Coal Companies