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Coal Dust

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NEWS
April 5, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Labor Department said it has found widespread fraud in the coal industry by mine operators who repeatedly tampered with the coal dust samples used to gauge miners' risk of black lung disease. A 20-month investigation uncovered about 4,700 alleged instances of tampering at about 850 underground coal mines, Labor Secretary Lynn Martin said. The department proposes that a record $5 million in fines be levied against 500 companies for alleged tampering at mines in 16 states.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Derived from found footage, Bill Morrison's films are odes to snubbed celluloid. Whether he slices the surviving moldy fragments of a lost silent film, as in "Decasia," or crafts a dirge to the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River with old documentary material, as in the recent "The Great Flood," Morrison savors decayed film stock for its ghostly beauty. Lost worlds are not created or evoked; they are discovered and recovered. What makes Morrison a great filmmaker, though, is not merely his application of restoration hardware but his brilliant exercise of symphonic software.
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NEWS
January 2, 2005 | Helen O'Neill, Associated Press Writer
The scars are barely visible. Only in the evenings, when the men wash away the day's grime, do they come to light. Thin squiggly lines and fat creases, and sometimes great gouges torn from their skin. But the strangest thing about the scars is their color. They are a deep and startling blue. They tell a story of a dark, dangerous world that men cling to, women fear and sons stubbornly follow their fathers into, even though there is little money, little future and very little hope.
NATIONAL
May 8, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - The battle over plans for a series of massive coal export terminals across the Pacific Northwest took a new turn Wednesday when the energy company Kinder Morgan announced it was dropping its plan to build a $200-million facility on the Columbia River in northern Oregon. Company officials said the site at the Port Westward industrial park near Clatskanie could not be configured optimally to handle export of up to 30 million tons of coal a year, most presumably destined for markets in Asia.
BOOKS
March 14, 2004 | Michael Stillman
Listen to the coal rolling, rolling through the cold steady rain, wheel on wheel, listen to the turning of the wheels this night black as coal dust, steel on steel, listen to these cars carry coal, listen to the coal train roll.
BUSINESS
October 22, 1991 | From Associated Press
Dozens of coal companies and individuals have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges that they conspired to defraud a federal program that gauges miners' exposure to coal dust, prosecutors said Monday. The coal dust sampling program is required by law. Coal dust causes black lung disease and contributes to explosive conditions underground.
TRAVEL
December 19, 1993
Regarding "From Mao to Now" by Christopher Reynolds (Nov. 21): Reynolds states: "The air is so thick with coal dust that some parents outfit their children with tiny surgeon's masks . . . ." This is untrue. I am a Chinese immigrant. I was born and lived in China for 18 years, and spent most of the time in Shanghai. The reason we wore "surgeon masks" in the winter is very simple. The weather in Shanghai in the wintertime is very cold and windy. The wind-chill factor makes your face very cold.
NATIONAL
July 3, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
A derailed Spokane-bound train interrupted an interstate railroad thoroughfare for more than 24 hours, but the tracks were to reopen Tuesday night, BNSF Railway Co. officials said. The freight train derailed Monday, spewing 31 cars and tons of coal dust across the arid grasslands of southeast Washington. More than 50 workers from a nearby town bulldozed 30 of the 31 cars into a heap, righted the last one, and cleared the tracks, officials said. The derailment remains under investigation, but it provides fodder for opponents of a proposed increase in coal shipping in the Pacific Northwest.
NEWS
January 20, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The world's largest private coal company was fined $500,000 by the federal government for tampering with coal dust samples taken to protect miners' health. Peabody Coal Co. pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating a required testing program that is designed to keep dust concentrations low and thus prevent such respiratory diseases as pneumoconiosis, or black lung. Peabody was fined last week in Charleston, W. Va.
WORLD
June 1, 2006 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
This historic port city was once touted by the Colombian government as the next Acapulco, with its scenic bay, white sand beaches, colonial history and the eco-tourism potential of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, home to one of the largest and oldest pre-Columbian settlements in the Americas. Then came the coal dust. "It covers the plants, the furniture, enters the reception area and even the rooms," said Leonor Gomez Gonzalez, owner of the beachfront Park Hotel. "It's a permanent condition.
NATIONAL
November 29, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The former president of a Massey coal mine in West Virginia was charged with conspiracy to violate federal mining safety laws Wednesday, and federal authorities said he was expected to plead guilty in a widening criminal investigation that began after a 2010 explosion killed 29 miners. David C. Hughart, former president of Massey's Green Valley Resource Group, was charged in U.S. District Court in Beckley, W.Va., with a felony on allegations of tipping off mine officials in advance of federal safety inspections.
NATIONAL
November 28, 2012 | By Richard Serrano
WASHINGTON -- The former president of a Massey coal mine in West Virginia was charged with conspiracy to violate federal safety laws at various company mining sites in a widening criminal probe that began after a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. David C. Hughart, former president of Massey's Green Valley Coal Co., agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with federal law enforcement agents investigating allegations that company officials ordered workers to violate standards for maintaining airflow through mines and limiting combustible coal dust, all allegedly in attempts to maximize profits over employee safety.
NEWS
September 19, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, the Mitt Romney campaign released an ad spotlighting President Obama's putative "War On Coal," despite a controversy in Ohio about the coal miners' rally featured in the spot. In the ad, Romney appears on a stage before rows of hard-hatted miners, their faces smudged with coal dust, as he says, “We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn't we use it?” The rally was held last month in Beallsville, Ohio, thick with miners from the Century coal mine, owned by Murray Energy, a major donor to Republican causes.
NATIONAL
July 3, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
A derailed Spokane-bound train interrupted an interstate railroad thoroughfare for more than 24 hours, but the tracks were to reopen Tuesday night, BNSF Railway Co. officials said. The freight train derailed Monday, spewing 31 cars and tons of coal dust across the arid grasslands of southeast Washington. More than 50 workers from a nearby town bulldozed 30 of the 31 cars into a heap, righted the last one, and cleared the tracks, officials said. The derailment remains under investigation, but it provides fodder for opponents of a proposed increase in coal shipping in the Pacific Northwest.
NEWS
March 27, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
The federal agency charged with ensuring mine safety failed to enforce laws that might have prevented the Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 coal miners and seriously injured two others, according to an independent assessment of the 2010 incident. If the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration had enforced existing safety laws in a timely manner, “it would have lessened the chances of - and possibly could have prevented - the explosion,” a four-person panel of mine safety experts concluded.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Wang Wenlin and his family have eked out a living for decades farming and herding sheep and cattle on the vast, unforgiving Inner Mongolian steppes. But the opening three years ago of a nearby colliery and railway line to transport coal across his grazing land has squeezed Wang's livelihood. "My animals only have so much land to graze," said Wang, who earns about $9,000 a year. "In the winter, I'm cut off from the closest city. When it's windy, we get covered in coal dust because it's an open mine.
NEWS
April 21, 1988 | BARRY BEARAK, Times Staff Writer
Corruption seems as natural to these parts as the thick seams of coal beneath the rugged mountains. It runs so deep that few would flinch at a vote sold on election day for $5 and a half pint of rotgut, or at a state job created for a man suddenly blessed with a change of heart in the jury room. Truth be told, many people in the narrow, isolated valleys of Mingo County cannot even begin to understand why 75 of their own have been arrested, among them the biggest names around.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 1997
More than 300 dockworkers and environmentalists protested alleged safety hazards at a new coal exporting facility at the Port of Los Angeles on Monday as Mayor Richard Riordan and officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers celebrated a massive dredging and landfill project nearby. The dredging project, the largest in the nation, is the cornerstone of a $650-million program designed to accommodate a predicted doubling of cargo through the port in the next 20 years.
OPINION
March 5, 2011 | By Bill McKibben
This year an epic fight is brewing along the West Coast, one that may make as much difference to the future of our climate as anything that happens in Washington, D.C., and one that may also serve as a decisive battle in defining the U.S. relationship with China. Nature left a lot of coal in the Powder River Basin of southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming. The region produces as much coal as all of Appalachia; its Black Thunder Mine is the nation's largest. Most of this coal takes a long train trip southeast to fuel many of the nation's power plants.
WORLD
June 1, 2006 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
This historic port city was once touted by the Colombian government as the next Acapulco, with its scenic bay, white sand beaches, colonial history and the eco-tourism potential of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, home to one of the largest and oldest pre-Columbian settlements in the Americas. Then came the coal dust. "It covers the plants, the furniture, enters the reception area and even the rooms," said Leonor Gomez Gonzalez, owner of the beachfront Park Hotel. "It's a permanent condition.
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