I read that Kentucky is going to do away with the state mine inspection department. This should have been done several years ago. The only thing the Department of Mines and Minerals checks is paperwork and training records. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has been the workhorse when it comes to safety and health inspection work.
Mine operators and mines have had to live with two sets of laws and standards. Whatever safety violation MSHA issued, state inspectors used as a tool to follow up on. Instead of assisting coal operators and miners, the inspectors threatened mine officials, especially foremen, with penalties, including jail time.
At least the few mines we have left will be able to breathe a little easier now.
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