Upper Big Branch News

West Virginia Miners’ Kin Say Alpha Owes Them $1.5M Each

Relatives of three of the 29 men killed in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster say Alpha Natural Resources has yet to pay them each $1.5 million as promised under a settlement agreement with the federal government. A lawsuit in …

MSHA to Publish Pattern of Violations Final Rule

Labor Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a final rule to strengthen safety in the nation’s most dangerous mines. Solis said that the rule, which revises the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s pattern of violations regulation, seeks to ensure …

Systems to Protect Miners From Black Lung Failing

Black lung diagnoses have doubled in the last decade, and a new investigation blames a combination of factors, including operators who cheat the system and lax enforcement by regulators. Experts have warned of the resurgence since 1995, but an investigation …

Ex-Mine Security Chief Gets 3 Year Prison Term

A U.S. judge sentenced the former security chief at a West Virginia mine to three years in prison after being convicted of two felonies related to a federal probe into the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years, in …

West Virginia House Passes Governor’s Mine Safety Bill

West Virginia’s House of Delegates has unanimously approved legislation meant to prevent a repeat of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine disaster. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin proposed the bill that advanced Tuesday to the Senate. It includes provisions targeting methane …

Feds Issue Final Report on West Virginia Mine Blast Dec. 6

Federal investigators will soon release their final report on the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch coal mine. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says it will brief the victims’ families and the media …

Massey Disputes Federal Report on West Virginia Mine Disaster

The company that owned the coal mine where 29 miners died in the worst U.S. mining disaster in four decades concluded the explosion was the result of unpreventable natural gas buildup and not coal dust, contradicting the findings of an …