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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 19, 2019 04:03 PM
From: Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
To: All House members
Subject: Mine Safety & Technology Advancement Legislation
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act (Act 55 of 2008) to encourage the research and development of new digital technologies that would enhance the safety of those individuals working in underground bituminous coal mines. Pennsylvania has a long and proud history of administering a state mine safety program, combined with world-class higher education research institutions. My legislation will leverage these two assets to the Commonwealth to promote the development of new technologies that enhance miner safety.

Specifically, the legislation would create a new Mine Safety and Technology Advancement Committee that would be composed of appointed representatives from bituminous mine operations, mining machine equipment manufacturers, and the Department of Environmental Protection. The Committee will be tasked with administering a newly created Mine Safety & Technology Advancement Grant program.

The Grant programs’ intent would be to assist in the funding of research and development, at institutes of higher education and non-profit organizations, which would enhance mine safety. Examples of these technologies include real-time analytics and optimization, advanced control systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and predictive maintenance. Funding for the grant program will be re-directed from the Mine Safety Fund, which is currently funded by fines and assessment against bituminous mine operators for violations of Act 55.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.