U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., introduced H.R. 3697, the "Mine Safety Accountability and Improved Protection Act." The legislation seeks to improve the implementation of mine safety and health regulation and hold violators accountable by increasing penalties.
"As we've come to learn through official reports, the mine disaster that claimed 29 lives in West Virginia in April 2010 was stoppable; the catalysts of the explosion could have been addressed," Capito said. "In an effort to address serious shortcomings in current mine safety standards, I have introduced a mine safety bill that I hope will ignite a fruitful debate on how we can improve effectiveness of mine safety laws, as well as create tougher penalties for those who don't play by the rules."
The bill will hold safety violators responsible by both financial and criminal penalties with the goal of creating a safer work environment for miners across the state.