New Federal Mine Safety Legislation up for Vote

January 17, 2008

More than two dozen Appalachian families who have lost loved ones in coal accidents are supporting a federal bill that would mandate more safety measures.

Among the supporters are the widows of the 2006 Kentucky Darby underground explosion that killed five miners. That incident followed the Sago disaster in West Virginia that claimed 12 men and a fire that killed two.

The accidents left federal and state lawmakers scrambling to approve sweeping safety legislation.

The bill was on the House’s agenda for Wednesday. The measure would add safeguards to a dangerous practice called “retreat” mining, improve emergency response to mine sites and reduce long-term health risks facing miners. The bill adds on to the broad safety provisions approved in the 2006 MINER Act.

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