Judge overturns Brody violation notice

US Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Administrative Law Judge William Moran has dismissed the pattern of violations notice issued to Patriot Coal’s Brody mine in West Virginia.

Lou Caruana

The judge ruled that the US Mine Safety and Health Administration failed to meet constitutionally mandated procedural due process requirements by not identifying the specific criteria that constitute a pattern of violations.

Patriot executive Michael Day said: “We are pleased that Moran agreed with Patriot's position and overturned the pattern of violations notice.”

As part of the proceedings, Brody challenged the 54 citations and orders identified as the basis of the October 24, 2013, pattern of violations notice, of which 26 were resolved before the trial.

In his decision, Moran reduced or “vacated another 11 issuances designated as significant and substantial”.

In total, 25 of the citations and orders designated significant and substantial in the October 24 notice were subsequently reduced to “non- significant and substantial” violations or vacated.

Patriot acquired Brody in December 2012, before which Brody was owned and operated by an independent company. Many of the issuances cited took place while under the previous owners, Patriot said.