A central Montana coal mine should pay a $1 million nice for violating environmental and worker security laws by failing to report employee accidents and improperly disposing of mine waste, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for Montana mentioned.
Sign Peak Power, by way of a consultant, pleaded responsible final October to 4 counts of willful violation of well being and security requirements at its underground coal mine close to Roundup.
The nice was included within the plea settlement and the mine was additionally positioned on three years of probation through the sentencing earlier than U.S. District Decide Timothy J. Cavan in Billings.
Federal prosecutors mentioned in 2013 and 2015, managers of the mine improperly disposed of mine waste referred to as slurry by pumping it into deserted sections of the mine. And twice in 2018, mine managers tried to cowl up accidents that occurred on the mine by encouraging staff to report they’d been damage at house, the prosecutors mentioned.
Mines are required to report worker accidents to the federal Mine Security and Well being Administration.
The corporate’s vp of underground operations gave $2,000 in money to an worker whose finger was crushed at work and needed to be amputated, prosecutors mentioned. A miner who suffered a extreme laceration on his head attributable to falling rock had the times he was unable to work charged towards his trip time, courtroom information mentioned.
“This case holds Sign Peak Mine accountable for its utter disregard for environmental and employee well being and security requirements,” U.S. Lawyer Leif M. Johnson mentioned in a press release. “Mine homeowners offered little in the best way of significant oversight of mine operations so long as the mine’s managers might meet reported security and manufacturing targets.”
Johnson added: “That lax oversight fostered a local weather of fraud, which in the present day price the mine $1 million in fines.”
On the time the plea settlement was reached, the corporate mentioned a small group of Sign Peak staff had damaged the regulation with out the corporate’s data and that the staff concerned now not labored for the mine.
The mine’s human sources director, Phil Stansell, didn’t instantly return a cellphone message Tuesday looking for remark.
The prosecution of the mine was a part of a broad corruption investigation into mine administration and operations that led to convictions of former mine officers and associates for embezzlement, tax evasion, financial institution fraud, cash laundering, drug trafficking and firearms violations, officers mentioned.
Larry Wayne Value Jr., the corporate’s former vp of floor operations, was sentenced to 5 years in jail in 2020 for defrauding firms of $20 million.
Zachary Ruble, a former floor mine supervisor, was sentenced to probation for conspiring to defraud Sign Peak Power of $2.3 million, federal prosecutors mentioned.
Copyright 2022 Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Enthusiastic about Mining?
Get computerized alerts for this matter.