"We are pleased that the U.S. Attorney determined that Alpha has met or exceeded its obligations under the NPA," said Alpha Executive Vice President and General Counsel Vaughn Groves. "Throughout this process, we remained committed to responsibly addressing the UBB tragedy and resolving Massey's liabilities, while implementing safety measures, training and research that will make our industry safer for miners not just today, but well into the future."
Alpha listed some steps it said the company had taken under the deal with Goodwin:
| Building a new training facility at the company's regional headquarters in Julian.
| Funding a $48 million foundation dedicated to financing mine safety and health research.
| Working to develop and then install at its underground mining operations new atmospheric monitoring sensors that improves the ability to detect ventilation problems.
| Reducing Alpha's total reportable incident rate by 31 percent.
| Providing restitution to families of the miners who died at Upper Big Branch.
Under the settlement, Alpha was required for two years to provide progress reports to Goodwin's office every six months describing its compliance with the terms of the deal.
So far, Goodwin's office and the U.S. Department of Justice have refused to make public those detailed compliance reports submitted by Alpha.
Among other things, the progress report was to contain a "current list of expenditures" made in connection with the settlement. Alpha was also to conduct special "safety compliance visits" at all of its mines, and submit a report of the findings - and steps taken to remedy any problems -- to Goodwin's office.
Alpha was also to implement a plan to ensure that each of its underground mines "has the personnel and resources necessary to meet all legal requirements related to incombustible material and to prevent accumulations of coal dust and loose coal."
None of Alpha's detailed reports on those issues have been made public.
In a prepared statement Friday, Goodwin said, "Information from Alpha regarding safety-related changes at former Massey mines inherently discloses evidence about the operation of those mines under Massey, which bears directly on our ongoing investigation. Consequently, we are not releasing that information at this time."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.