Tagged Articles

mine 8 articles

Toxic wastewater Spill Turns Colorado River Bright Orange

A million-gallon spill of toxic wastewater flowed from an old mine into the Animas River in Southern Colorado Wednesday, turning the waterway into a thick sludgy vivid orange and yellow and threatening human health and wildlife for miles. The release occurred when Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers were using heavy machinery to assess pollutants at the Gold King Mine, about 55 miles north of Durango, Colo. The mine is the property of San Juan Corp. of Golden, Colo., but it has been inactive for several years. The EPA has been monitoring the site for years without incident, but an apparent ... Read More

Mine superintendent charged in deadly West Virginia blast

The superintendent in charge of Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia at the time it exploded, killing 29 workers, was charged Wednesday with conspiracy for his central role in deceiving federal regulators who were trying to carry out safety inspections and impeding their efforts to enforce requirements that could have prevented the disaster. Gary May, 43, of Bloomingrose, West Virginia, is now the highest-ranking Massey Energy employee to be charged in the deadly explosion, which occurred on April 5, 2010 after mining equipment created a spark that ignited an accumulation of coal dust and methane gas. ... Read More

Final settlements reached in WV mine explosion, criminal charges likely to follow

Alpha Natural Resources, the new owner of West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine, has settled with the remaining families of the miners who were killed in an April 2010 explosion, believed to be the worst mining disaster in 40 years. The 13 families who hadn’t reached an agreement with Alpha or the mine’s previous owner, Massey Energy, accepted settlement offers after more than four days of talks with a mediator, according to the Charleston Gazette. The 16 other families either settled with Massey before the Alpha buyout or reached agreements with the new owner. Details of the latest settlements, including ... Read More

Inactive mining areas filled with dangers for recreation seekers

Mines are some of the most dangerous worksites in the United States, but the inherent dangers associated with mines – falling rock, cave-ins, even drowning and falling hazards – linger long after the last bit of ore has been extracted and the mine abandoned. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), for every one of the 14,000 active mines in the U.S., there are about 36 inactive or closed mines scattered throughout the country. That’s about half a million potentially deadly mines. Northeast Pennsylvania’s Republican Herald, which serves an area abundant in mining operations, ... Read More

After 8 industrial worker deaths in 4 months, OSHA vows to do more

Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a warning to the petrochemical and energy industries today, prompted by the deaths of 58 workers in just the last four months. Eleven of those deaths occurred when the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. Fifteen days prior to the BP oil rig disaster, 29 miners were killed in a West Virginia coal mine explosion. That mine is owned by Massey Energy, another company with a long and troubled history of federal safety violations. In testimony before a congressional panel on workplace ... Read More

Massey Energy hires PR agency to revamp image after mining disaster

The board of Massey Energy, parent company and owner of Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia where 29 miners died in explosion earlier this month, is seeking a public relations boost from a Texas-based firm with political connections. Since the tragic explosion on April 5, Massey’s safety record has come to the public’s attention, revealing a systemic disregard for critical safety measures that could have prevented the disaster had they been followed. The incident has placed Massey Energy and its controversial CEO Don Blankenship under fire from all directions. On the outside, federal regulators, safety advocates, and victims’ families ... Read More

Poor safety record, bad leadership caused mining deaths

Massey Energy, owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where at least 25 miners were killed on Monday, has had a long record of serious safety violations, many of which portended Monday’s tragic explosion and subsequent collapse of the mining shaft. Massey is the nation’s fourth largest coal company and the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia, with bituminous coal mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Despite the size and scope of its operations, however, Massey invests very little in protecting its workers. Between 2005 and Monday, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) cited ... Read More

Cumberland residents say ‘no;’ officials say ‘yes’ to coal ash

Cumberland County, Tennessee, officials saw dollar signs and improved highways when they approved the relocation of coal ash recovered from a neighboring spill site to a landfill atop Smith Mountain. “I call it the Good Neighbor Plan,” says Commissioner Lynn Tollett. “We’ve got a place to put (the recovered coal ash). We can help out and we’re going to gain some income at a time when the economy is not what it ought to be.” The county will reap about $8 million over three years from fees. The project will also help improve the mine where the coal ash will ... Read More