FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 28, 2006) - Susan C. Bush, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, has appointed five members of an expert panel whose job will be to review and make recommendations about mine safety equipment and technologies.
Creation of a Mine Equipment Review Panel was a provision of Senate Bill 200, Governor Ernie Fletcher’s comprehensive mine safety legislation, which became law on July 12.
"Mine safety continues to be a priority of Governor Fletcher’s administration and the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing," said Bush. "The panel will help ensure the latest technology is being used in mines to protect the most valuable asset, our miners."
The new appointees, whose affiliations were specified in the legislation, are:
Mark Watson, Alliance Coal LLC, Lexington, representing the coal industry.
Edgar "Butch" Oldham, Morganfield, a member of the United Mine Workers of America.
Bob Hardman, Pikeville, U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Dr. Joseph Sottile, Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky.
Johnny Greene, acting executive director, OMSL.
The legislation also provided for membership by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which has been invited to designate a representative.
Senate Bill 200 gave the review panel a mandate to review and make recommendations "regarding the best available mine safety technologies."
Acting on the panel’s recommendations, the OMSL executive director is to make a list of commercially available equipment that may be approved for use by coal miners.
The panel’s first meeting will be Monday, July 31, at 10 a.m. EDT at the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing (OMSL) in Frankfort. The address is 1025 Capital Center Drive.