Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 11. Mineral Mine Safety Act
4/15/2024

§ 45.2-1158. Closure orders.

A. The Director or a mine inspector shall issue a closure order requiring that a mine or section thereof be cleared of all persons, or that equipment be removed from use, and refusing further entry into the mine of any person except a person who is necessary to correct or eliminate a hazardous condition when (i) a violation of the Act has occurred and creates an imminent danger to the life or health of any person in the mine; (ii) a mine fire, mine explosion, or other serious accident has occurred at the mine, making it necessary to preserve the scene of such accident during the investigation of the accident; (iii) a mine is operating without a license, as provided by § 45.2-1124; or (iv) an operator to whom a notice of violation was issued has failed to abate the violation cited therein within the time period provided in such notice for its abatement. However, a closure order shall not be issued for failure to abate a violation during the pendency of an administrative appeal of the issuance of the notice of violation as provided in subsection D of § 45.2-1157. In addition, a technical specialist may issue a closure order upon discovering a violation creating an imminent danger.

B. One copy of the closure order shall be delivered to (i) the licensed operator of the mine, his agent, or the mine foreman and (ii) any independent contractor working in the area of the mine affected by the closure order.

C. Upon a finding by the mine inspector of the abatement of the violation creating the hazardous condition pursuant to which a closure order was issued as provided in clause (i) of subsection A, or the cessation of the need to preserve an accident scene as provided in clause (ii) of subsection A, or the issuance of a license for the mine if the closure order was issued as provided in clause (iii) of subsection A, or the abatement of the violation for which the notice of violation was issued as provided in clause (iv) of subsection A, the Director or mine inspector shall issue a notice of correction, copies of which shall be delivered as provided in subsection B.

D. The issuance of a closure order shall constitute a final order of the Department, and the owner, licensed operator, or independent contractor to whom such closure order was issued shall not be entitled to administrative review of such decision. Such owner, licensed operator, or independent contractor may, within 10 days following the issuance of the order, bring a civil action in the circuit court of the city or county in which the mine, or the greater portion thereof, is located for review of the decision. The commencement of such proceeding shall not, unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the closure order. The court shall promptly hear and determine the matters raised by the owner, operator, or independent contractor. In any such action the court shall receive the records of the Department regarding the issuance of the order and shall receive additional evidence at the request of any party. In any proceeding under this section, the Attorney General or the attorney for the Commonwealth for the jurisdiction where the mine is located, upon the request of the Director, shall represent the Department. The court shall vacate the closure order if the preponderance of the evidence establishes that the order was not issued in accordance with the provisions of this section.

E. If it is finally determined that a closure order was not issued in accordance with the provisions of this section, the closure order shall be vacated and the improperly issued closure order shall not be used to the detriment of the owner or operator to whom it was issued.

1997, c. 390, § 45.1-161.292:64; 1998, c. 695; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.