Black Lung

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal country is waiting to see if President Trump’s rollbacks of environmental regulations will boost the mining business. But some bipartisan proposals before Congress offer different ways to help. Ohio Valley ReSource reporters offer some analysis of three ideas that could help to mend mining country.

Alexander Korzh, 123RF Stock Photo

A bipartisan group of legislators sent a letter to President Trump this week asking for more money for  black lung health clinics.

iStockPhoto

  The Kentucky Senate's top leader has presented a last-minute plan to reduce the beleaguered coal industry's costs to cover claims by workers suffering from black lung disease.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Two Democratic members of Congress want three federal agencies to work together to get a more accurate count of coal miners suffering from progressive massive fibrosis, the worst stage of the fatal disease known as black lung.

The request is a response to an NPR investigation that shows 10 times as many cases of the advanced stage of black lung as identified and reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Benny Becker | Ohio Valley ReSource

Black lung is back in Appalachia. The Ohio Valley ReSource teamed with NPR to investigate the dramatic increase in cases of the deadliest form of the disease. In this two-part report, Benny Becker profiles one of the afflicted miners. The story begins in Pike County, Kentucky, where Dr. James Brandon Crum diagnoses a coal miner who is fighting for breath.

Across Appalachia, coal miners are suffering from the most serious form of the deadly mining disease black lung in numbers more than 10 times what federal regulators report, an NPR investigation has found.

The government, through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, reported 99 cases of "complicated" black lung, or progressive massive fibrosis, throughout the country the last five years.

www.dailyyonder.com

After a federal Court of Appeals rejected an industry-led challenge last month, a new federal rule to reduce coal miners’ exposure to dangerous dust goes into effect Monday.

Jack Corn / Environmental Protection Agency-National Archives

 

The most severe form of black lung disease is at levels not seen since the early 1970s, according to new data from the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes unveiled a plan Thursday to improve mine safety and address black lung diseases—an offensive campaign move on the Kentucky coal issue.

Her plan also takes Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to task for vowing to repeal a key provision in the Affordable Care Act that helps coal miners receive benefits for black lung disease.

Jack Corn / Environmental Protection Agency-National Archives

 

Kentucky coal miners seeking workers compensation for black lung may get a new way to battle denied claims.

In a 2011 Kentucky Supreme Court case of Vision Mining, Inc v. Gardner, the state’s highest court found that the methodology for reaching consensus on disputed X-rays of coal miners with black lung was unconstitutional.

Department of Workers’ Claims Commissioner Dwight Lovan says the ruling affects about 3,000 finalized black lung claims over the past decade.