Press Release Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Rendell Administration Updates Quecreek Mine Accident Investigation Friday FebruaryMessage 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2003View Source
Press Release Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Rendell Administration Updates Quecreek Mine Accident Investigation
Friday February 28, 4:30 pm ETHARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today requested assistance from the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General in DEP's ongoing investigation into the July 2002 Quecreek Mine accident. The accident happened when nine miners working in the Quecreek Mine, Somerset County, accidentally cut into the adjacent, abandoned Saxman Mine, flooding the Quecreek mine.
Acting Secretary McGinty requested the Office of Inspector General to review the Bureau of Deep Mine Safety's implementation of state safety requirements, specifically provisions of the Bituminous Coal Mine Act.
"As the Department's review of mine safety procedures has progressed, questions have arisen regarding how safety requirements were understood by Department personnel and how this understanding was communicated within the Department and to outside parties. To assure that every perception of impartiality is maintained as these questions are answered, I have asked the Inspector General to conduct an external review. It is critical to me that the results of the Quecreek investigation enjoy the full confidence of everyone involved in the accident and having this review conducted by an independent third party will make sure this occurs," said Acting Secretary McGinty.
While these investigations and reviews continue, the following steps have been taken within the Department:
1. The Director of Deep Mine Safety will personally review and approve the work of mine safety staff. Prior to this change in procedure, the Director would undertake that personal review only when specific issues were raised for his consideration. 2. The Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resources will personally review the recommendations of the Director of Deep Mine Safety. Prior to this change in procedure, the Deputy Secretary would undertake such a personal review only in extraordinary circumstances. 3. The workload of mine safety personnel has been shifted as necessary to ensure the most vigorous application of mine safety standards.
These measures are being taken in addition to the process changes and improvements instituted by Governor Schweiker following the Quecreek accident.
CONTACT: Darlene Crawford of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, +1-717-787-1323