In a September 9 US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Virginia-based producer said the US Mine Safety and Health Administration handed down the order to its Excel Mining complex in Martin County on September 2, backdated to August 30.
“[It] alleged that ‘abnormal’ amounts of methane were within the mine roof strata of Excel's Van Lear mine,” officials said in the documentation.
“Excel believes the methane tests MSHA relied on in taking this action were not taken in accordance with MSHA regulations or policy. Excel's methane tests and other tests taken by MSHA in accordance with its regulations have demonstrated that the areas affected by the imminent danger order are fully compliant with law and not experiencing any abnormal, excessive or potentially harmful levels of methane within the Van Lear mine's working atmosphere.”
Alliance said that Excel had now sought an expedited judicial review of the imminent danger order, and an administrative law judge for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission would conduct a hearing on the issue September 14.
Alliance did not indicate any injuries resulting from the condition, nor did it release any further public statement on the event.
Imminent danger orders are issued by MSHA under section 107(a) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, also known as the Mine Act.
Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, amended last July, now requires disclosure of all imminent danger incidents as part of new reporting requirements regarding mine safety.