The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking a judge to dismiss coal producer Massey Energy’s lawsuit challenging the agency’s power over ventilation plans.
MSHA says case law requires Massey to appeal ventilation plan decisions to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, not the courts. And the agency argues in a recently filed motion the case should be dismissed anyway because Massey’s claims are vague.
Virginia-based Massey filed the lawsuit in June, amid growing conflict with MSHA following the nation’s worst coal mining explosion in 40 years. The April 5 blast killed 29 miners at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County and is under civil and criminal investigation.
The suit involves 14 Massey coal mines, but not Upper Big Branch.
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