CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators are making permanent an emergency rule implemented last year requiring underground mines to do more to control explosive coal dust.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced the final
rule Monday. The rule was issued last September, five months after
29 miners were killed in an explosion at West Virginia's Upper Big
The change increased the amount of pulverized stone or other
inert material that mines must use to dilute coal dust in tunnels
that bring fresh air underground.
An independent report by a former top federal mine regulator
released last month blamed Massey Energy Co. for allowing highly
explosive coal dust and methane gas to accumulate in the Upper Big
Branch mine. MSHA has yet to release its final report.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)