D.C. Circuit won’t throw out mine safety rulings on Mach Mining

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has refused to throw out a final order that the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission had issued against Mach Mining LLC.

A three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit returned its decision Jan. 12 after hearing oral arguments Oct. 14.

Mach operates a longwall coal mine in Johnston City, Illinois, that releases more than 1 million cubic feet of methane daily. The Secretary of Labor proposed civil penalties for a series of citations that had been issued at the mine.

The commission had concluded that two of Mach’s regulatory violations issued by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) were the result of “high negligence” and one violation was also “significant and substantial.”

Mach contends these determinations were unwarranted in view of its efforts to mitigate the violations and the limited danger they posed. “Because the factual findings underlying these determinations are supported by substantial evidence, we deny the petition,” the D.C. Circuit held.

The case, Mach Mining versus Secretary of Labor is Docket No. 14-1266.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.