According to WV MetroNews, this could be the week that the proposed comprehensive mine safety bill is passed. The bill is designed to address some of the problems that led up to the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that claimed the lives of 29 miners in April of 2010.
All sides have agreed to rock dusting, ventilation plans, methane monitoring for coal mines, and family representation for any future deadly mine accidents. The proposed bill also makes it a crime to warn a coal operator that a mine inspector is on site, puts stricter controls on keeping coal dust under control, and mandates that mining machines automatically shut down when methane levels build up. The legislation also requires drug testing of certified coal miners and others who are routinely present at mining sites.
The exact language is still being debated, but all are agreed that these brave workers must be protected from preventable disasters.