McAteer says more transparency needed for miners, families
Fomer MSHA Director and Vice President of Sponsored Programs at Wheeling Jesuit University, Davitt McAteer wants tougher mine safety regulations in wake of Raleigh County mine tragedy.
April 6, 2010 ·
As news of the Raleigh County mine explosion continues to unfold this morning, many people across the country are reminded how dangerous coal mining can be. Davitt McAteer is making the national news circuit this morning to talk about mine safety regulations.
Davitt McAteer was the former head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton Administration and Vice President of Sponsored Programs at Wheeling Jesuit University.
McAteer has written investigative reports on the Sago Mine Disaster and the Aracoma mine fire in 2006. Twelve miners died during an explosion at the Sago mine and two miners died during the Aracoma mine fire.
McAteer has since been urging the mining industry and government officials not to delay safety improvements including using more self contained self rescuers and mine safety technology.
He said the Raleigh County tragedy is a grim reminder that more needs to be done now to protect miners.
“We are not doing enough, nationwide 415 active underground mines nationwide are required to have added better communication systems. As of two weeks ago, only 34 had installed fully operational systems of communication.
That was defining of Sago. That was one of the first things that we are not doing enough and we know how to remove methane and control dust problems and the fact that we had an explosion with methane or dust suggests that we are not doing enough to protect miners.”
McAteer said he also is advocating for more transparency from coal companies and government officials when dealing with mine safety issues.