Senate Bill No. 524
(By Senator Hall)
[Introduced February 16, 2011; referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §22A-2A-308 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to operation of diesel equipment in underground coal mines.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §22A-2A-308 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2A. USE OF DIESEL-POWERED EQUIPMENT IN UNDERGROUND COAL MINES.
§22A-2A-308. Promulgation of initial rules by the commission.
(a) The West Virginia Diesel Equipment Commission shall prepare and adopt the initial rules for the operation of diesel equipment in underground coal mines in this state. In preparing and adopting initial rules, the commission shall consider the highest achievable measures of protection for miners’ health and safety through available technology, engineering controls and performance requirements and shall further consider the cost, availability, adaptability and suitability of any available technology, engineering controls and performance requirements as they relate to the use of diesel equipment in underground coal mines.
(b) In promulgating the initial rules pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commission shall follow the procedures set forth in article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that are prescribed for an agency proposing a legislative rule, to the point where an agency would approve a rule for submission to the Legislature. At that point, the commission shall proceed to final adoption of the initial rules and file a notice of the final adoption in the State Register and with the Legislative Rule - Making Review Committee. Final adoption of the initial rules may be approved only upon a majority vote of all six members of the commission. All six members must be present when a vote is taken. Upon final adoption by the commission, the initial rules are thereby promulgated and have the effect of law without further action by the commission or the Legislature. The initial rules shall be published in the code of state rules and continue in effect until modified or superseded in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(c) Following the promulgation and effective date of the initial rules governing the operation of diesel equipment in underground coal mines required by this section, an operator may use diesel powered equipment without further delay, if such equipment is operated and maintained in strict compliance with said initial rules. A diesel inspector, employed by the West Virginia Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training, shall inspect the equipment before it is taken underground.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow properly maintained diesel equipment to be operated in underground coal mines after rules are passed and the equipment has been inspected.