CHARLESTON - Follow this link for a pre-publication copy of a proposed rule that the Mine Safety and Health Administration published October 2 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. 

CHARLESTON -- During the November 18thInterim meetings,  the Legislature's Rulemaking-Review Committee (LRRC)   considered the proposed comprehensive rule to implement Senate Bill 423, the state's (revised) Aboveground Storage Tank Act. The rule, 47 CSR  63, was heavily modified by the agency in response to concerns raised by the Legislature. An inclusive copy of the rule as it will appear after the legislative modifications will be provided once it is available from the committee. With respect to the coal industry-specific concern regarding the default categorization of water treatment tanks as "Level One" tanks under the rule, the Committee specifically-instructed the agency to work with the Association to develop mutually-agreeable language that would classify water treatment tanks as level two tanks, to be as offered to an amendment when the rule is considered by the full Legislature in 2016.

CHARLESTON --West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP) officially submitted the Emergency Rule revisions to the state's water quality standards for aluminum and selenium to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. EPA has 60 days following receipt of a proposed state water quality standard revision to approve the change or 90 days to disapprove the proposed modification. On Sunday, the Legislative Rulemaking-Review Committee of the West Virginia Legislature approved the companion package for the Emergency Rule without modification.

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.