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In order to win a case against Massey Energy Co., federal regulators relied on the provision of the Mine Safety Law, which is a 33 year old law that regulates mining policies.
In November, the United States Labor Department sued Massey Energy Co. based in Richmond, Virginia over the company’s Freedom Energy No. 1 mine. The suit cited that ventilation problems, gas leaks, and roof collapses are threats to the health of those working at the mine.
The company closed the mine voluntarily last month and had opted for a settlement. The suit was finally settled Wednesday.
Patricia Smith, the U.S. Labor Solicitor said that regulators are also considering to file a suit against the operator of another troubled mine, using the same powerful enforcement provision. Although in the statement given by Smith, the name of the mine referred to was not mentioned.
Mine safety experts said that the case of Massey Energy Co. shows that the Mine Safety Law can survive being challenged in court.