Ky. mine operators owe $29M in delinquent fines

May 28, 2012

A published report says Kentucky coal operators owe more in delinquent fines to federal authorities for mine safety violations than any other state.  The Louisville Courier-Journal reports the finding from an analysis of records from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.  Records show Kentucky mine operators owe MSHA just over 29 million dollars, 40 percent of the total seventy-three and a half million owed to the agency in mine safety fines. Operators in West Virginia rank second, owing 14 point seven million.  The analysis showed many of the fines are years old, some stemming from violations in 1993.  MSHA chief Joseph Main says the agency has "a very high collection rate," and it is taking a "hard look" at operators who haven't paid penalties.