W.Va. Gov. Justice signs bills promoting safety in the coal industry

Published: Apr. 12, 2018 at 1:25 AM EDT
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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday signed three bills that promote safety in the coal industry, drawing praise from the West Virginia Coal Association.

“We are proud and grateful of the strong relationship our governor has with West Virginia coal miners. By signing these bills today, Gov. Justice has reaffirmed his commitment to help us move our industry into the future,” said West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney in a news release.

Justice signed the following bills:

SB525: Relating to certification for EMT-Mining ─ Codifies the transfer of the EMT-Mining Certification Program from the WV Office of Emergency Services to the WV Office of Miners' Health, Safety & Training and provides for the ability of mine safety instructors to provide annual instruction for recertification.

SB626: Coal Jobs & Safety Act IV ─ Provides for the state to accept certain mining plans and safety program reviews that duplicate existing federal requirements; the legislation also requires automatic defibrillators at surface mines and authorizes the use of diesel generators in underground mines, among the bill’s many other provisions.

HB4626: Continuation and expansion of the Innovative Mine Safety Technology Tax Credit ─ Extends the credit until 2025 and amends the qualifying criteria to allow for the application of the credit (up to a 50 percent) against the cost of “proximity detection devices, cameras, underground safety shelters and the refurbishing of safety shelters.” The credit heretofore was restricted to the purchase of safety equipment not required by state or federal law.

“Given the intensity of the 2018 legislative session, we appreciate the hard work legislators did to help the coal industry modernize our regulations,” Raney said in the release. “The governor’s official stamp of approval today is most appreciated.”

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