The chairman of a congressional panel that oversees mine safety on Wednesday released a list of 48 mines that could face greater scrutiny if not for delays in assessing the safety violations filed against them.
Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said he wants the public to have all relevant information about potentially dangerous mines in the hope of avoiding another disaster.
The list includes the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, where 29 miners died in an explosion last week.
Twenty-one others on the list are coal mines in West Virginia. Included are four coals mines in Kentucky and one coal mine each in Illinois, Virginia, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and Arizona. The remaining 16 mines are metal and nonmetal mines in 13 states, including South Carolina.
All 48 mines on the list have been cited for a large number of serious safety violations. But mine operators are contesting many of those citations. Only violations that are fully resolved can be considered in the count that would trigger tougher penalties.