Roof Fall Accidents Decline, Remain Leading Cause of Injuries

Improvements in roof control technology in underground coal mines have significantly reduced accidents involving roof and rib falls or coal bursts, but such accidents remain a leading cause of injuries, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported. Since 2013, roof and rib falls or coal bursts led to the deaths of five continuous mining machine operators, and injured 83 other operators.

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EPA, US Army Move to Rescind Clean Water Rule

On June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Army, and Army Corps of Engineers announced they were proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 defining of the “waters of the United States” or WOTUS. This action will provide certainty in the interim, pending a second rulemaking in which the agencies will engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of WOTUS.

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Contura Gets a Bump From Improved Met Pricing

In its preliminary first quarter earnings statement, Contura Energy reported coal revenues of $508.9 million, with Central Appalachia (CAPP) accounting for $148.7 million and Trading and Logistics accounting for $166.7 million. On the thermal side, Northern Appalachia (NAPP) revenue totaled $97.7 million and the Powder River Basin (PRB) generated $95.8 million in coal sales.

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NMA Urges Reform of Broken Program for Abandoned Coal Mines

The chief executive of the national trade association representing the U.S. coal industry recently told a congressional panel that the federal program funded by the coal industry to help clean up old abandoned coal mines has been plagued by an inefficient structure and lax management leading to billions of dollars spent for other purposes.

“Of the almost $11 billion that the coal industry has paid into the Abandoned Mine Lands fund since its inception in 1977, only $2.8 billion of the $8.5 billion spent to date from the fund has resulted in the reclamation of priority coal abandoned mine sites,” said National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn.

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Kentucky Coal Academy to Host Free Initial Training

The Kentucky Coal Academy, located in Versailles, Kentucky, will host free initial mining trainings through its program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC). Classes will be held at Harlan campus, 164 Ball Park Road, Mining Industry building, second floor. To register for, or to learn more about this underground mining class, call (606) 589-3068 or (606) 589-3260, or email [email protected] or [email protected].

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