Federal inspectors issued a total of 50 citations to three coal companies for alleged health and safety violations spotted during special inspections in February, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday.
The mines targeted for what are called "impact inspections" were the Nally & Hamilton Enterprises Bear Branch surface mine in Leslie County; Armstrong Coal Company's Lewis Creek underground mine in Ohio County; and the Redhawk No. 1 underground mine in Floyd County, operated by Redhawk Mining LLC.
MSHA inspectors issued 31 citations at the Nally & Hamilton mine, 16 to Armstrong Coal and three to Redhawk Mining.
The federal mine-safety agency began doing heightened inspections in April 2010 after a mine blast in West Virginia killed 29 men.
The impact inspections focus on mines the agency thinks need extra attention because of a poor compliance history or other concerns.
The agency has conducted 726 of the inspections since 2010, issuing more than 13,000 citations and orders.