The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has acquired a site near Mace, W.Va. for a new facility that will focus on the mining industry and advance the agency’s research capabilities. The CDC will use the site for the new National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Underground Mine Safety and Health Research Laboratory. The new lab will replace the former Lake Lynn Experimental Mine in Fayette County, Pennsylvania and will support research programs focused on miner safety and health issues.


“The mission of the NIOSH Mining Program is to eliminate mining fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through relevant research and impactful solutions,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D, M.P.H. “The new facility will allow NIOSH to once again conduct full-scale mine explosion studies, support research on various topics such as refuge alternatives and fire suppression, and address other issues critical to the safety and health of mine workers.”


CDC has already started the planning, design, and construction process for the underground mine safety research facility. The agency anticipates the facility to be completed approximately three years after construction begins.


The acquired site includes approximately 465 acres located off U.S. Route 219 in Randolph and Pocahontas Counties, W.Va. Located in the Pittsburgh suburbs, urban sprawl hindered Lake Lynn’s ability to conduct important tests, especially those related to explosions.


“NIOSH will now be able to conduct critical research that had to be suspended or redirected after the closing of the Lake Lynn laboratory,” said Josh Bornstein, M.P.A., Director of CDC’s Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management. “Building this facility supports CDC’s master-plan goals to modernize existing laboratory space where economically and programmatically feasible, and to construct new facilities when required.”


NIOSH plans, directs, and coordinates a national program to develop and establish recommendations for occupational safety and health standards. NIOSH also conducts research and training, provides technical assistance, and performs related activities to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for every working person in the United States.