Alma Mine Report Set for May 16-17 Meeting of MSHA's Belt Air Panel

MSHA said yesterday that the third meeting of its Technical Study Panel on the Utilization of Belt Air and the Composition and Fire Retardant Properties of Belt Materials in Underground Coal Mining will take place May 16-17 at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City. The person to contact for information is Patricia W. Silvey, director of the Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, at 202-693-9440 or silvey.patricia@dol.gov.

The panel was created by the MINER Act, which says the panel must submit a report by December 2007 to the secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The panel's first meeting took place last January in Washington, D.C.

The agenda for this third meeting will include belt air ventilation issues; ground control/convergence issues related to two-entry development in western underground coal mines; and an MSHA report on the Aracoma Alma Mine #1 accident investigation. That investigation produced a $1.5 million fine in March 2007 against Massey Energy; two miners had died in a fire on Jan. 19, 2006, after a conveyor belt caught fire. For more information about the panel's work, visit the panel's Single Source page www.msha.gov/BeltAir/BeltAir.asp

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