Utah Mine Safety Commission shuffle

IN LIGHT of events still ongoing at the Crandall Canyon mine, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jnr. last week announced the individuals he has tapped for a newly organised Utah Mine Safety Commission.
Utah Mine Safety Commission shuffle Utah Mine Safety Commission shuffle Utah Mine Safety Commission shuffle Utah Mine Safety Commission shuffle Utah Mine Safety Commission shuffle

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jnr

Donna Schmidt

Its eight members are mixed, with two from the industry in some capacity and six from other arenas, mostly political. They include:

Former US senator Jake Garn

Huntington, Utah mayor Hilary Gordon

Price, Utah mayor Joe Piccolo

Senator Mike Dmitrich

Representative Kay McIff

UMWA safety and health director Dennis O'Dell

Utah Mining Association representative David Litvin

Chairman: former US attorney and University of Utah Law School dean Scott Matheson

The purpose of the group, according to a statement made by Huntsman Thursday, is also varied.

"[It] will investigate the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster and the State of Utah's role leading up to the incident – in the rescue, recovery and community support processes, and in mine safety and accident prevention in the future," Huntsman said.

He also said that he has requested the committee to make recommendations on future policy changes at the state and federal level for various topics, such as mine safety, and seek expert assistance through a voluntarily compiled technical advisory group.

As part of its work towards releasing a preliminary report sometime during the US fall season, the committee plans to conduct public hearings in Huntington and Price, as well as other spots to be determined.

"The commission will not be tasked with investigating the cause of the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster or determine any fault for its occurrence," Huntsman noted.

According to local state news media Tuesday, the commission met this week for the first time to begin its work.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, one group member said that it really isn’t yet clear whether or not the state has a mine safety problem.

"You can't spend enough money on safety," said Mike Dmitrich.

"But before we get too carried away, let's look at Utah's mine safety record. Do we really have a problem, other than this one?"

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