coal mining

Federal charges have been filed against the former superintendent of Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine. Gary May was charged with felony conspiracy today in West Virginia.

Gary May started working at the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2008. He was a superintendent there in April 2010, when an explosion tore through the mine, killing 29 workers.

According to the charges filed in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors say May and possibly others conspired against the country’s mine safety laws. They allege May gave advance notice of federal mine inspections to miners and covered up mine safety violations. They also accuse him of tampering with methane detectors, falsifying records and misleading federal investigators as to the amount of respirable dust in the mine.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says charges against other Massey employees could be in store.

“Today’s charge is a significant step in the investigation of events at the Upper Big Branch Mine,” Goodwin said. “However, our investigation of those events remains ongoing.” [click to continue…]

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Letcher County Coal Miner Killed, Orchestra Talks Resume, UofL Football Team on Winning Streak: Afternoon Review

by Laura Ellis November 7, 2011

Here are some of the stories we’ve covered this afternoon, in case you missed them. A coal miner has been killed in an equipment accident in Letcher County. The accident was at the Hubble Mining Company’s Number 9 mine at Eolia in Letcher County. A week after the Louisville Orchestra management threatened to replace musicians […]

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by Laura Ellis September 30, 2011

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that students have the right to enroll and attend the school nearest their home. But if JCPS takes the case further, it will delay having to comply with the Court of Appeals decision. The plan to re-open Kentucky Kingdom has hit another snag, with talks breaking down between […]

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Abandoned Mine Funds Directed to Perry County Water Project

by Erica Peterson September 21, 2011

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by Gabe Bullard August 18, 2011

WFPL Environment Reporter Erica Peterson is in eastern Kentucky. She’s following Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming and senior advisor for environmental justice Lisa Garcia as they tour communities affected by coal mining. Today, she called the newsroom with updates on her trip. From Erica: The first stop was in Manchester. There’s a woman […]

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McConnell Echoes “War on Coal” Rhetoric

by admin June 1, 2011

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell says the Environmental Protection Agency has declared war on coal, and the Kentucky Republican is siding with the industry. Speaking before the Kentucky Coal Association in Lexington Wednesday, McConnell said the EPA has defied logic and operated outside the scope of its authority with a […]

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Miners’ Widows Sue Operator Over 2010 Accident

by Gabe Bullard April 26, 2011

The widows of two men killed in a mine accident in Kentucky last year are suing the mine’s operator. The Dotiki mine had received hundreds of citations for safety violations before the 2010 roof collapse. The women say production took priority over safety at the mine. From Bloomberg: The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District […]

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Nearly One Year After Upper Big Branch, Massey Cited for Safety Violations

by Gabe Bullard March 29, 2011

Massey Energy has received more than 80 citations for safety violations from federal investigators. The citations account for roughly half of those issued following special inspections in five states last month.

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Members of Congress Continue Supporting Measures to Limit EPA

by Gabe Bullard March 16, 2011

The proposals include: a limit on how long the EPA has to approve or reject mining permits; a block on new carbon emissions regulation; and a call for hearings on the President’s plans to protect waterways from mining.

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Environmental Groups Plan to Sue Coal Company

by Gabe Bullard March 9, 2011

The groups say Bardstown-based Nally and Hamilton Enterprises committed 12,000 violations of federal law by filling out water permitting reports with inaccurate or repetitive information. The groups say they discovered the violations while reviewing state documents earlier this year.

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