Mining

8:00am

Sat January 15, 2011
Around the Nation

Faulty Safety Systems Failed To Stop Va. Mine Explosion

NPR News has learned that safety systems were not working properly before that blast at the Upper Big Branch coal mine. Some mine safety experts believe these water-based safety systems might have helped prevent the blast if they all had been working together properly. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Howard Berkes about new developments in the investigation of last year's coal mine explosion.

6:12pm

Fri January 14, 2011
Mine Safety in America

Safety System Dysfunctional Before Mine Blast

Legally required water systems at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia were not functioning properly before the April 5 explosion that killed 29 mineworkers, according to multiple sources familiar with the disaster investigation.

Some mine safety experts believe that these safety systems might have helped prevent the explosion if they had been working as designed.

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11:38am

Wed January 5, 2011
Mine Safety in America

Landmark Coal Mine Safety Enforcement Case Settled

The Labor Department's first-ever use of its toughest enforcement tool has resulted in a court-supervised settlement with coal mine giant Massey Energy.

The agreement involves Massey's Freedom Mine #1 in Pike County, Ky., which is described in court documents as a mine so dangerous it requires court supervision. Freedom was singled out for an unprecedented federal court injunction owing to a persistent "pattern of violations" of mine safety law, which "constitutes a continuing hazard to the health or safety of miners."

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12:32pm

Thu December 23, 2010
The Two-Way

Judge Upholds Effort To Seek Injunction Against Massey Mine

Massey Energy's attempt to derail an unprecedented use of the government's toughest mine safety enforcement tool was formally rejected by a federal judge in a ruling issued late Wednesday.

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8:57am

Wed December 1, 2010
The Two-Way

Massey To Close Ky. Mine That Regulators Wanted Seized

Originally published on Wed December 1, 2010 3:48 pm

Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Company Don Blankenship listens during a hearing before the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee May 20, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Massey Energy is shutting down a Kentucky mine that is targeted by federal regulators for the toughest enforcement action ever, the company confirms to NPR.

The Freedom Energy Mine No. 1 in Pike County is the focus of an unprecedented federal court action in which the Labor Department is seeking to have the court seize control of the mine. Labor Department officials argue that conditions at the facility are so dangerous that a judge's intervention was required.

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