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West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin with miners on Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers, Union Urge Mine Safety Regulators to Act on Silica Dust

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (OVR) — A group of Ohio Valley senators says a watchdog agency’s recent report shows that federal regulators must do more to protect coal miners from silica dust, an especially toxic form of dust created when mining equipment cuts into rock layers near coal seams. In a Monday morning press release, six Democratic senators,… Read More

Inspection Set For West Virginia Tunnel That Cost Hundreds Of Lives

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GAULEY BRIDGE, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia tunnel where hundreds of construction workers died from silica-choked passageways is set to undergo its first inspection in more than 80 years. The Hawks Nest Tunnel has diverted water from the New River to power a hydroelectric plant since the 1930s. Hawks Nest Dam owner Brookfield Renewable… Read More

An X-ray image of an Appalachian coal miner with black lung lesions.

Federal Agency to Hear Comment on Silica Dust as Black Lung Epidemic Rages

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The Mine Safety and Health Administration will host a public meeting Thursday as it considers action on regulating respirable silica, one of the major contributors to Appalachia’s skyrocketing rates of black lung disease. MSHA issued a request for information in response to calls for increased regulation after a 2018 investigation from NPR and PBS Frontline. That… Read More