CHARLESTON -- In the next two weeks, initial pre-registration information for the 2016 West Virginia Mining Symposium will be forwarded to all members and interested parties. As usual, this 42nd Annual event will be held at the Charleston Civic Center and will feature environmental and safety workshops and a full agenda of national and state experts and leaders discussing issues and developments most pertinent to our industry, as well as the annual Environmental Achievement and Mountaineer Guardian Safety Awards. The specific dates for the upcoming Symposium are Wednesday, January 27th – 29th. Please be watching for this pre-registration information as we hope this will continue to be one of the largest gatherings of coal mining people in the country.
CHARLESTON – The U.S. Senate passed a pair of resolutions November 17th that disapprove of the two primary components of the EPA’s job-killing “Clean Power Plan.” The bills were passed in large part through the bipartisan leadership of West Virginia Senators Capito and Manchin, who joined with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), in pushing the legislation through.
We extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the several members of our Association family who have passed away during the past month.
Well known industry engineer and friend, John Francis, passed away on October 6th in Culloden, WV. Many in the industry remember John for his practical ingenuity and attention to problem solving during his long career with Long Airdox and Persinger’s. John is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and family, who have indicated any memorials may be made to the Grace Baptist Temple, 1901 MacCorkle Avenue, St. Albans, WV 25177 or to a charity of one’s choice. John’s funeral was held in Huntington.
Follow this link for a pre-publication copy of a proposed rule that the Mine Safety and Health Administration will publish in the Federal Register tomorrow regarding the installation of proximity detection system on underground mining equipment. Also available at this link is a fact sheet that the agency has prepared. Comments on the rule will be accepted through Dec. 2, 2015.
Under the proposed rule operators of underground coal mines would be required to install proximity detection systems on mining equipment, coal hauling machines and scoops on working sections using continuous mining machines. Consistent with the proximity requirements for continuous mining machines the proposal indicates that the final rule will be phased-in over a period of 8-36 months depending upon the date of manufacture and installation of proximity technology in advance of the final rule.
In honor of the commitment and courage of mine rescuers past and present, the Mine Safety and Health Administration commemorated the Third Annual Mine Rescue Day on Friday, Oct. 30 by showcasing the latest emergency response equipment and technology at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, West Virginia.
"Mine rescue is among the most challenging emergency work that is undertaken in our country," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main. "When a mine disaster strikes, mine rescue volunteers, brave men and women, don't hesitate to answer the call, be it day or night. Many times these great volunteers from the mining community travel miles in the dark and under arduous and treacherous conditions, navigating mine workings sometimes filled with debris and explosive gases to find missing miners or recover those who did not survive. That's what they do. They are our heroes."
Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, echoed Main's comments.
"Our coal miners are the best in the world and our safety teams are the best in the world as well," Raney said. "They go where no one else wants to go. They go to the danger and they are our angels, and this event salutes their skill and courage -- and through them it honors every coal miner."