March 16, 2017 - Kentucky lawmakers have agreed to loosen inspection requirements for underground coal mines.
The Kentucky Senate gave final approval to House Bill 384 on Tuesday. It would give the Department of Natural Resources commissioner discretion to replace up to three safety inspections with a mine safety analysis visit. It would also let the commissioner reduce the number of electrical inspections from two to one.
The bill would not affect federal mine inspections. Supporters say the bill would give the state flexibility to focus on other safety measures.
But others were reluctant to vote for a bill that would reduce inspections. Former coal miner and Democratic state Sen. Robin Webb voted against the bill, saying she worried fellow miners’ blood would be on her hands if an accident occurred.