Amendments include a requirement for all failed drug or alcohol tests to be reported to the agency’s director for immediate temporary suspension of mining certificates pending an appeal before the State Board of Appeals.

It also delineates a list of additional actions that warrant the suspension of certificates, such as refusal to submit a sample or submitting a sample that has been “adulterated,” and deletes the mandate indicating all operators submit quarterly pre-employment drug tests.

Collective bargaining provisions for United Mine Workers-represented miners have been restated in the revisions, and now deleted are rules for mines to incorporate drug policies into their respective comprehensive mine safety programs.

Finally, the WVOMHST now has the authority to approve rehabilitation facilities and additionally must verify satisfactory completion of rehabilitation programs prior to miner reinstatements.

According to West Virginia Coal Association data, the state mining agency has issued more than 400 temporary miner de-certifications and one permanent de-certification since the inception of the state’s mandatory drug testing program in January 2013.

A full outline of the rule, which was filed with Secretary of State Natalie Tennant on April 10, is available for review at www.wvminesafety.org/PDFs/56-19%20Final%20File%20Substance%20-
Abuse%20Screening%20WVSOS.pdf.