Under the settlement, Alpha is required for the next two years to submit progress reports to Goodwin's office every six months on its compliance with the deal. The first such report was due on June 6, and on Monday Goodwin's office for the first time spoke publicly about it.
Among other things, the progress report must contain a "current list of financial expenditures" made in connection with the settlement. Alpha has asked Goodwin's office not to release that expenditures list.
The settlement requires Alpha officials to conduct special "safety compliance visits" at each of its underground mines. Compliance teams are required to provide individual mine management with a report of those visits, and mine management must respond by outlining steps taken to fix any problems. All of those documents must be provided to Goodwin's office, but none of them have been made public.
In Monday's news release, Goodwin especially touted the start of construction of Alpha's new $18 million training facility near Julian. Project plans and an artist's rendering of the facility were posted on a Justice Department website and distributed to the media.
The release also said Alpha has:
* Performed "remedial safety maintenance" at all former Massey mines and "has added maintenance and safety personnel" at those operations;
* Purchased 20 state-of-the-art digital "explosibility meters" to improve Alpha's ability to check underground mines for dangerous buildups of explosive coal dust;
* Prepared to make sometime in June its first purchase of new emergency breathing devices intended to help miners get out of a mine if there's a fire or explosion;
* Hired a mine technology company to develop wireless sensors that can check for potentially explosive methane gas anywhere in a mine;
* Re-engineered ventilation and roof control systems at certain former Massey mines.
"There is still work to be done, as Alpha has acknowledged," Goodwin said in his press release. "But a lot's been accomplished over the past six months, and I look forward to another good report from Alpha."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.