Tax Credit Proposed for Installing New Mine Safety Equipment

Without much fanfare, but noticed and applauded by the National Mining Association, three members of Congress have introduced a bill that would provide a 50 percent tax incentive to operators of underground mines for what they spend on advanced mine safety equipment. The bill defines equipment that would qualify as emergency communication technology or device so a miner can maintain constant communication with an individual not in the mine; electronic identification and location device that allows someone outside the mine to track at all times the movements and location of miners working in or at a mine; emergency oxygen-generating, self-rescue device providing oxygen for at least 90 minutes; pre-positioned supplies of oxygen to support a trapped miner for at least 48 hours; and a comprehensive system that detects smoke and monitors the levels of carbon monoxide, methane, and oxygen present in a mine's air.

NMA Senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Bruce Watzman complimented Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., for introducing H.R. 497. "On behalf of the nation's mining community, the National Mining Association thanks Rep. Brad Ellsworth for introducing legislation to provide important investment incentives that will accelerate the introduction of new safety technologies, safety training, and additional mine rescue capabilities into the nation's mines, Watzman said. "U.S. mining operators are working rapidly to develop and deploy new safety procedures and equipment, and Congressman Ellsworth's legislation will help advance the installment of the latest and most advanced technologies, while also improving the response capabilities of mine rescue teams. We applaud Congressman Ellsworth for his dedication and hard work towards improving the safety of miners both in Indiana and across the country."

The bill, which Ellsworth introduced with Nick Rahall, W-Va., and Ron Paul, R-Texas, is now before the House Ways and Means Committee.

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