30 USC 817 - Procedures to counteract dangerous conditions
Sec. 817. Procedures to counteract dangerous conditions(a)
If, upon any inspection or investigation of a coal or other mine which is subject to this chapter, an authorized representative of the Secretary finds that an imminent danger exists, such representative shall determine the extent of the area of such mine throughout which the danger exists, and issue an order requiring the operator of such mine to cause all persons, except those referred to in section 814 (c) of this title, to be withdrawn from, and to be prohibited from entering, such area until an authorized representative of the Secretary determines that such imminent danger and the conditions or practices which caused such imminent danger no longer exist. The issuance of an order under this subsection shall not preclude the issuance of a citation under section 814 of this title or the proposing of a penalty under section 820 of this title.
Notice to mine operators; further investigation; findings and decision by Secretary
(1) If, upon any inspection of a coal or other mine, an authorized representative of the Secretary finds
(A) that conditions exist therein which have not yet resulted in an imminent danger,
(B) that such conditions cannot be effectively abated through the use of existing technology, and
(C) that reasonable assurance cannot be provided that the continuance of mining operations under such conditions will not result in an imminent danger, he shall determine the area throughout which such conditions exist, and thereupon issue a notice to the operator of the mine or his agent of such conditions, and shall file a copy thereof, incorporating his findings therein, with the Secretary and with the representative of the miners of such mine. Upon receipt of such copy, the Secretary shall cause such further investigation to be made as he deems appropriate, including an opportunity for the operator or a representative of the miners to present information relating to such notice.
(2) Upon the conclusion of an investigation pursuant to paragraph (1), and an opportunity for a public hearing upon request by any interested party, the Secretary shall make findings of fact, and shall by decision incorporating such findings therein, either cancel the notice issued under this subsection or issue an order requiring the operator of such mine to cause all persons in the area affected, except those persons referred to in subsection (c) of section 814 of this title to be withdrawn from, and be prohibited from entering, such area until the Secretary, after a public hearing affording all interested persons an opportunity to present their views, determines that such conditions have been abated. Any hearing under this paragraph shall be of record and shall be subject to section 554 of title 5.
Form and content of orders
Orders issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall contain a detailed description of the conditions or practices which cause and constitute an imminent danger and a description of the area of the coal or other mine from which persons must be withdrawn and prohibited from entering.
Findings; duration of orders
Each finding made and order issued under this section shall be given promptly to the operator of the coal or other mine to which it pertains by the person making such finding or order, and all of such findings and orders shall be in writing, and shall be signed by the person making them. Any order issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be modified or terminated by an authorized representative of the Secretary. Any order issued under subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall remain in effect until vacated, modified, or terminated by the Secretary, or modified or vacated by the Commission pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, or by the courts pursuant to section 816 (a) of this title.
Reinstatement, modification, and vacatur of orders
(1) Any operator notified of an order under this section or any representative of miners notified of the issuance, modification, or termination of such an order may apply to the Commission within 30 days of such notification for reinstatement, modification or vacation of such order. The Commission shall forthwith afford an opportunity for a hearing (in accordance with section 554 of title 5 but without regard to subsection (a)(3) of such section) and thereafter shall issue an order, based upon findings of fact, vacating, affirming, modifying, or terminating the Secretary’s order. The Commission and the courts may not grant temporary relief from the issuance of any order under subsection (a) of this section.
(2) The Commission shall take whatever action is necessary to expedite proceedings under this subsection.
Last modified: July 21, 2011