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Member's Press Release

Release Date: 04/02/2013
Contact: Stacey Ruckle, 304-340-3365

Speaker Thompson

House Passes Methane Monitoring Tax Credit

CHARLESTON – Mine safety legislation introduced by House Speaker Rick Thompson was adopted today by the House of Delegates and sent to the Senate for consideration./p>

As part of his continuing effort to improve conditions for West Virginia coal miners, Speaker Rick Thompson introduced House Bill 3043 to expand the state’s Innovative Mine Safety Technology Tax Credit to include methane monitors./p>

“I want the state to do everything possible to ensure that the most accurate safety equipment is in our coal mines,” Speaker Thompson said. “It is my hope that the expansion of this tax credit will encourage equipment manufacturers to produce the methane monitoring units our mining companies need in order to comply with our new, more rigid safety standards.”/p>

The bill would amend the provisions of state code relating to the West Virginia Innovative Mine Safety Technology Tax Credit Act to add methane monitors required by the mine safety law enacted by House Bill 4351 in 2012./p>

House Bill 4351 established drug testing requirements, revised the process for development of ventilation plans, established new requirements for methane monitoring and rock dusting, and changed several safety-related miner training requirements./p>

The 2012 legislation drew provisions from the independent, federal and UMWA reports on the causes of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster and their recommendations./p>

The law calls for shut-off devices on mining apparatus that cause the machine to cut off when the methane level reaches 1.25 percent – a reading that may require more modern units./p>

“I am very proud of the new safety standards the Legislature put in place last year, but the effort to keep our miners safe is a continual one,” Speaker Thompson said. “This bill is yet another step in the process.”


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