3:13pm

Wed October 26, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Problems Continue to Surface at Harlan County Mine

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The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited three Kentucky coal mines for safety violations. They were among 20 nationwide with a history of compliance problems targeted in MSHA’s special impact inspections. The mines cited were Vision Coal’s Mine #2 in Letcher County, and two Harlan County mines: D&C Mining Corporation’s mine and Linsco Energy LLC’s Mine No. 1.

The citations at D&C’s mine included an imminent danger order. Inspectors found a cigarette lighter next to the continuous mining machine, which could ignite loose coal dust and cause an explosion. Smoking materials were also found in the mine during an inspection last February.

MSHA conducts impact inspections at mines with a history of compliance problems. D&C’s mine has had six impact inspections since the agency began the practice after the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine.