Mine Safety Advocate Tony Oppegard '80 Quoted in West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
Mine safety advocate Tony Oppegard '80 was quoted in West Virginia Public Broadcasting on an an Administration Law Judge of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review using a CLR to handle a Massey Energy mine case.
Former MSHA investigator and mine safety advocate Tony Oppegard points
out that a CLR is not an attorney, but if approved by an Administrative
Law Judge can participate in the litigation of citations before the
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
"Their job is
to try to take some of the burden off of MSHA attorneys,” Oppegard said,
"by handling simple cases that can be easily and quickly resolved
before administrative law judges. Typically these are these are rather
simple citations usually that are not S and S.”
But a ruling
issued by federal Administrative Law Judge Margaret Miller indicates
that a CLR was chosen to represent MSHA as Marfork Coal contested
violations that were S and S—meaning "significant and substantial.”
surprised in this particular case that MSHA would even have a CLR on
the case," Oppegard said, "because this is at a mine with a history of
problems these are not routine violations some of them according to the
ALJ’s decision were very serious.”
Read more in West Virginia Public Broadcasting, "Judge denies Alpha, MSHA request to reduce citation seriousness"