Alpha Foundation aims for big mine safety projects - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Alpha Foundation aims for big mine safety projects

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A mine health and safety panel created by Alpha Natural Resources' settlement with federal prosecutors over the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster aims to focus on big projects, not incremental ones.

The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health convened Wednesday in Charleston to discuss priorities for the $48 million it has to spend.

The State Journal says it plans to make recommendations by June 2013.

Foundation President and Virginia Tech professor Michael Karmis says the goal is to use the money in six to eight years.

He says the group doesn't want to duplicate existing work. It wants to fill gaps.

But to succeed, the Mine Safety and Health Administration says it will have to look at the leading causes of death in U.S. mines.

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