Spot inspections of the two Pennsylvania coal mines where retreat mining is taking place indicated that operations there are being done safely, the state Department of Environmental Protection said.
The unannounced checks that took place on Monday were ordered by Gov. Ed Rendell following the collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah.
In retreat mining, the mine’s support pillars are removed and roof collapsed to increase the amount of coal that can be collected. The most recent retreat mining fatality in Pennsylvania occurred 17 years ago at the Pitt Gas mine in Greene County.
The Pennsylvania inspections took place at Dana Mining Co.’s Titus mine in Greene County and UAE Co.’s Harmony mine in Columbia County.
The Utah mine’s owner has said his company was not doing retreat mining at the time of the accident, but regulators said they had previously approved a retreat-mining plan for the mine.
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