H. B. 2222
(By Delegates Craig, Stowers, Morgan, C. Miller,
Andes and Reynolds)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic
Development and Small Business then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §22A-2-66 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to the elimination of a fixed fine
amount and permiting the Director of the Office of Miners'
Health, Safety and Training flexibility when determining the
appropriate penalty to impose against operators who fail to
provide immediate notice upon the occurrence of a mining
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §22A-2-66 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. UNDERGROUND MINES
§22A-2-66. Accident; notice; investigation by Office of Miners'
Health, Safety and Training.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the term "accident"
(1) The death of an individual at a mine;
(2) An injury to an individual at a mine which has a
reasonable potential to cause death;
(3) The entrapment of an individual;
(4) The unplanned inundation of a mine by a liquid or gas;
(5) The unplanned ignition or explosion of gas or dust;
(6) The unplanned ignition or explosion of a blasting agent or
(7) An unplanned fire in or about a mine not extinguished
within five minutes of ignition;
(8) An unplanned roof fall at or above the anchorage zone in
active workings where roof bolts are in use or an unplanned roof or
rib fall in active workings that impairs ventilation or impedes
(9) A coal or rock outburst that causes withdrawal of miners
or which disrupts regular mining activity for more than one hour;
(10) An unstable condition at an impoundment, refuse pile or
culm bank which requires emergency action in order to prevent
failure, or which causes individuals to evacuate an area, or the
failure of an impoundment, refuse pile or culm bank;
(11) Damage to hoisting equipment in a shaft or slope which
endangers an individual or which interferes with use of the
equipment for more than thirty minutes; and
(12) An event at a mine which causes death or bodily injury to
an individual not at the mine at the time the event occurs.
(b) Whenever any accident occurs in or about any coal mine or
the machinery connected
therewith with the mine, it is the duty of
the operator or the mine foreman in charge of the mine to give
notice, within fifteen minutes of ascertaining the occurrence of an
accident, to the Mine and Industrial Accident Emergency Operations
Center at the statewide telephone number established by the
Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency
Management pursuant to the provisions of article five-b, chapter
fifteen of this code stating the particulars of the accident.
Provided, That The operator or the mine foreman in charge of the
mine may comply with this notice requirement by immediately
providing notice to the appropriate local organization for
emergency services as defined in section eight, article five of
said chapter, or the appropriate local emergency telephone system
operator as defined in article six, chapter twenty-four of this
code. Provided, however, That However, nothing in this subsection
shall be construed to relieve relieves the operator from any
reporting or notification requirement under federal law.
(c) The Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and
Training shall impose, pursuant to rules authorized in this
section, a civil administrative penalty of up to $100,000 on the
operator if it is determined that the operator or the mine foremen
in charge of the mine failed to give immediate notice as required
in this section.
Provided, That The director may waive imposition of the civil administrative penalty at any time if he or she finds
that the failure to give immediate notice was caused by
circumstances wholly outside the control of the operator.
(d) If anyone is killed, the inspector shall immediately go to
the scene of the accident and make recommendations and render
assistance as he or she
may deem determines necessary for the
future safety of the men individuals and investigate the cause of
the explosion or accident and make a record. He or she shall
preserve the record with the other records in his or her office.
The cost of the investigation records shall be paid by the Office
of Miners' Health, Safety and Training. A copy shall be furnished
to the operator and other interested parties. To enable him or her
to make an investigation, he or she has the power to compel the
attendance of witnesses and to administer oaths or affirmations.
The director has the right to appear and testify and to offer any
testimony that may be relevant to the questions and to
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow the Director of the
Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training flexibility when
determining the appropriate penalty to impose against operators who
fail to provide immediate notice upon the occurrence of a mining
accident. The bill replaces a fixed fine of $100,000 with a fine
that may not exceed $100,000.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would