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 warranting certificate suspension, such as refusal to submit a sample, or submitting “adulterated” samples, and deleting the mandate indicating all operators submit quarterly pre-employment drug tests.

Collective bargaining provisions for United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)-represented miners have been restated in the revisions, with rules deleted that outlined mines incorporate drug policies into their respective comprehensive mine safety programs.

Accordingly, West Virginia officials may now approve rehabilitation facilities while also verifying satisfactory completion of rehabilitation programs prior to miner reinstatements.

According to the West Virginia Coal Association, the state mining agency has issued more than 400 temporary miner de-certifications and one permanent de-certification since the drug testing program’s Q1 2013 inception. A full rule outline, filed with Secretary of State Natalie Tennant on April 10, is available for review at