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Coal mine owner sues federal government over ventilation regulations

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Massey owns mine where 29 workers died in April
  • Company says agency overstepped its authority
  • Design of ventilation systems at issue
  • Use of scrubbers also at issue

(CNN) -- Massey Energy Company, which owns a West Virginia coal mine in which 29 workers died in April, has sued the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration over ventilation regulations, the company said Wednesday.

The company is suing over the agency's use of regulatory authority to control the design of ventilation systems and to limit the use of scrubbers in underground mines.

"We hope the principal beneficiary will be miners, who will have cleaner air, safer mines and more secure jobs," Massey CEO Don Blankenship said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, contends the federal agency exceeded its regulatory authority to enforce mine safety and health laws by effectively dictating the ventilation plan for each mine.