Court Case Tests Teeth Of Post-Sago Mine Safety Law

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A key mine safety provision adopted
after high-profile fatal accidents in West Virginia in 2006 is
facing its first court test.

Arguments are scheduled for Thursday afternoon in an appeal that
will determine whether the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety
and Training can make a $100,000 fine stick for failing to report a
serious accident within 15 minutes.

The agency contends the Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals
overstepped its authority by reducing the fine against a Massey
Energy subsidiary to $10,000 last November.

Agency spokeswoman Jama Jarrett says Massey took more than an
hour to report a life-threatening flood at its River Fork Powellton
No. 1 mine March 20, 2007. Massey abandoned the Raleigh County mine
less than a month later.

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