Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, today announced $96,306 in federal funding for Marshall University to develop a computer program to aid ventilation planning and simulate mine ventilation systems.
This grant is part of the Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety Grants that were established by the MINER Act, which Rockefeller co-authored and Congress passed in 2006.
"We need to do everything in our power to make mining safer, and the ventilation research Marshall University will conduct is a critical component of this," said Senator Rockefeller. "Marshall's mine simulation lab is an impressive facility and this grant will improve the ongoing research. The funding for this grant is a direct result of the MINER Act, which I'm proud to have helped write. While we have made progress on improving mine safety, our fight is definitely not over. I recently reintroduced my mine safety bill which includes new provisions to address major issues found during the investigations of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. I will continue to fight to make sure that comprehensive mine safety legislation is signed into law and that our miners are healthy and safe."
"A strong mining industry begins with a strong commitment to our miners," Senator Manchin said. "Our coal miners are some of the hardest working people in America, and they are proud to do the heavy lifting that keeps this country strong. In our state, we're absolutely and totally committed to the safety of every worker -- and that means that every worker in our state should be able to get up in the morning and expect to come home safely to their loved ones at night. The funds for these training programs are a critical to the health and safety of our miners. Whether it was as Governor or Senator, our miners' safety always has been and always will be my top priority for our coal industry."
"Having helped to create this important program to promote mine health and safety training, I know our State has a deep reservoir of experience and ideas that can be used in ensuring the well-being of all miners," said Congressman Rahall. "Marshall University is a leader in mine safety technology and this investment in our miner's safety will pay large dividends in the short and long term interest of miners their families our communities and the industry. Marshall's innovative application and fresh approach to protecting miner's health and safety needs are on the cutting edge.
"I'm proud of our state's mining industry, our coal miners, and our scholars at Marshall University who, like me, are dedicated to improving and ensuring our miners remain safe on the job," said Governor Tomblin. "My thanks to our congressional delegation who remain committed to our miners and their safety.
The funding for this grant comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration.