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Mine Safety Advocate Tony Oppegard '80 Quoted in West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Thursday, April 25, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
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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.”

"I’m 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"

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