Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 14.2. Coal Mine Safety Act
3/6/2021

Article 2. Chief, Director and Mine Inspectors.

§ 45.1-161.15. Appointment of Chief.

The Chief shall be appointed by the Governor. The Chief shall be the head of the Division of Mines, and shall be under the direction of and shall report to the Director.

Code 1950, §§ 45-1 through 45-3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-3; 1984, c. 590; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.16. Qualification of Chief.

The Chief shall have a thorough knowledge of the various systems of working and ventilating coal mines, nature and properties of mine gases and methods for their detection and control, the control of mine roof, methods of rescue and recovery work in mine disasters, application of electricity and mechanical loading in mining operations, equipment and explosives used in mining, methods for preventing gas and dust explosions in mines, and mine haulage. The Chief shall possess such experience or educational background in management as determined necessary by the Governor and shall be not less than thirty years of age.

Code 1950, §§ 45-4, 45-5, 45-6; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-4; 1972, c. 784; 1978, cc. 120, 727; 1981, c. 32; 1984, cc. 184, 337, 590; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.17. Affiliations of Department personnel with labor union, coal company, etc.; interest in coal mine; inspections of mines where inspector previously employed.

A. In addition to compliance with the provisions of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.), neither the Chief nor any other officer or employee of the Department shall, upon taking office or being employed, or at any other time during the term of his office or employment, have any affiliation with any operating coal company, operators' association, or labor union. Neither the Chief nor any other officer while in office shall be directly or indirectly interested as owner, partner, proprietor, lessor, operator, superintendent, or engineer of any coal mine, nor shall the Chief, or any other officer while in office, own any stock in a corporation owning a coal mine either directly or through a subsidiary.

B. Neither the Chief nor any mine inspector shall perform an inspection at any mine site at which that individual was last employed for a period of two years following termination of his employment.

Code 1950, §§ 45-4, 45-5, 45-6; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-4; 1972, c. 784; 1978, cc. 120, 727; 1981, c. 32; 1984, cc. 184, 337, 590; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256.

§ 45.1-161.18. Appointment of mine inspectors.

Mine inspectors shall be appointed by the Director.

Code 1950, §§ 45-1 through 45-3; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-3; 1984, c. 590; 1994, c. 28.

§ 45.1-161.19. Qualifications of mine inspectors generally.

Each mine inspector shall (i) be not less than twenty-five years of age; (ii) be of good moral character and temperate habits; (iii) hold a certificate as a mine foreman; and (iv) hold a certificate as a mine inspector issued by the Board of Coal Mining Examiners.

Code 1950, §§ 45-4, 45-5, 45-6; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-4; 1972, c. 784; 1978, cc. 120, 727; 1981, c. 32; 1984, cc. 184, 337, 590; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1994, c. 28; 1997, c. 390.

§ 45.1-161.20. Qualifications of inspectors of coal mines.

A. Each mine inspector conducting inspections of underground coal mines shall have a thorough knowledge of the various systems of working and ventilating underground coal mines; the nature and properties of mine gases and methods for their detection and control; the control of mine roof and ground control; methods of rescue and recovery work in mine disasters; application of electricity and mechanical loading in mining operations; equipment and explosives used in mining; methods for preventing gas and dust explosions in mines; and mine haulage.

B. Each mine inspector conducting inspections of surface coal mines shall have a thorough knowledge of the various systems of working surface coal mines; the nature and properties of mine gases and methods of their detection and control; ground control; methods of rescue and recovery work in surface mine disasters; application of electricity and mechanical loading in mining operations; equipment and explosives used in mining; methods for preventing gas and dust explosions in surface facilities on mine property; and mine haulage.

Code 1950, §§ 45-4, 45-5, 45-6; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-4; 1972, c. 784; 1978, cc. 120, 727; 1981, c. 32; 1984, cc. 184, 337, 590; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1994, c. 28; 1997, c. 390; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.21. Duties of the Chief.

A. The Chief shall supervise execution and enforcement of all laws pertaining to the health and safety of persons employed within or at coal mines within the Commonwealth, and the protection of property used in connection therewith, and to perform all other duties required pursuant to this Act.

B. The Chief shall keep a record of all inspections of coal mines made by him and the mine inspectors. The Chief shall make a comprehensive report to the Director. The Chief shall also keep a permanent record thereof properly indexed, which record shall at all times be open to inspection by any citizen of the Commonwealth.

C. The Chief is authorized to compel individuals to complete training that addresses the subject of a violation issued to the individual as a condition for abatement of the violation.

D. The Chief is authorized to require operators to submit for approval action plans to address hazardous conditions or practices.

E. For the purpose of investigating (i) an accident or (ii) a willful act resulting in a notice of violation or closure order, the Chief shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and to administer oaths or affirmations. Any person who knowingly provides any false statement, representation or certification during investigations is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

F. The Chief shall supervise execution and enforcement of all reciprocal agreements made with responsible officers of other states that implicate any part of the Coal Mine Safety Act, Chapters 14.2 (§ 45.1-161.7 et seq.), 14.3 (§ 45.1-161.105 et seq.), and 14.4 (§ 45.1-161.253 et seq.) of Title 45.1.

Code 1950, §§ 45-1 to 45-6; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, §§ 45.1-3, 45.1-4; 1972, c. 784; 1978, cc. 120, 727; 1981, c. 32; 1984, cc. 184, 337, 590; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1994, c. 28; 2005, c. 3; 2011, cc. 826, 862; 2014, c. 145.

§ 45.1-161.22. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 390.

§ 45.1-161.23. Technical specialists.

The Director may appoint technical specialists in the areas of roof control, electricity, ventilation and other mine specialties. Technical specialists shall have all the qualifications of a mine inspector plus such specialized knowledge in their field as may be required. Technical specialists shall advise the Director and mine operators in the areas of their specialty. Technical specialists shall have the power of an inspector to issue a closure order only in cases of imminent danger.

Code 1950, §§ 45-4, 45-5, 45-6; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-4; 1972, c. 784; 1978, cc. 120, 727; 1981, c. 32; 1984, cc. 184, 337, 590; 1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1; 1994, c. 28.