Whitesburg KY

Alpha says MSHA erred in citation


Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources says federal regulators have determined they incorrectly issued an imminent danger order at one of its Virginia mines.

Alpha revealed the situation Nov. 12 in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The order was issued to subsidiary Dickenson- Russell Coal on Nov. 9 by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Alpha says the agency vacated the order a day later.

Alpha says MSHA was responding to reports of popping and cracking noises and a so-called mountain bump at the working face of its Cherokee Mine in Dickenson County.

A bump is a sudden release of pressure in an underground mine.

Alpha says test drilling found no problems and showed that no imminent danger existed.

Abingdon-based Alpha operates in Appalachia, including Letcher County, and Wyoming.

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