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 5. Coal Mine Safety Act
5/26/2022

Article 2. Chief of the Division of Mines of the Department and Mine Inspectors.

§ 45.2-508. (Effective October 1, 2021) Appointment of Chief.

The Chief of the Division of Mines of the Department of Energy is the head of the Division of Mines and is under the direction of and reports 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, § 45.1-161.15; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-509. (Effective October 1, 2021) Qualification of Chief.

The Chief shall have a thorough knowledge of the various systems of working and ventilating coal mines, the 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, the 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 at least 30 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, § 45.1-161.16; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-510. (Effective October 1, 2021) Affiliations of Department personnel with labor union, coal company, etc.; interest in coal mine; inspections of mines where inspector previously employed.

A. 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 or fail to comply 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 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 that owns a coal mine either directly or through a subsidiary.

B. Neither the Chief nor any mine inspector shall perform an inspection at any mine at which he 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, § 45.1-161.17 ; 1999, c. 256; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-511. (Effective October 1, 2021) Appointment and general qualifications of mine inspectors.

A. Each mine inspector shall be appointed by the Director.

B. Each mine inspector shall (i) be at least 25 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.

Code 1950, §§ 45-1 through 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, §§ 45.1-161.18, 45.1-161.19; 1997, c. 390; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-512. (Effective October 1, 2021) Qualifications of coal mine inspectors.

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; the 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, the 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, § 45.1-161.20; 1997, c. 390; 2005, c. 3; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-513. (Effective October 1, 2021) Duties of the Chief; penalty.

A. The Chief shall (i) supervise execution and enforcement of all laws, including regulations adopted by the Department or the Board, 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 (ii) perform all other duties required pursuant to the 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 of such inspections, properly indexed, and such record shall at all times be open to inspection by any citizen of the Commonwealth.

C. The Chief may 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 may 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 may compel the attendance of witnesses and administer oaths or affirmations. Any person who knowingly provides any false statement, representation, or certification during such investigation 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 Act.

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, § 45.1-161.21; 2005, c. 3; 2011, cc. 826, 862; 2014, c. 145; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-514. (Effective October 1, 2021) Technical specialists.

The Director may appoint technical specialists in the areas of roof control, electricity, ventilation, and other mine specialties. Each technical specialist shall have all the qualifications of a mine inspector plus the specialized knowledge required in his field. A technical specialist shall advise the Director and mine operators in the areas of his specialty and shall have the power of an inspector to issue a closure order only in a case 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, § 45.1-161.23; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.