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General Laws

Section 8. The commissioner is authorized to appoint qualified coal mining inspectors to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The commissioner shall establish qualifications that shall include a working knowledge of geology, engineering and anthracite coal mining. Any mining inspector certified by the commissioner shall have the power to enter a coal mine or lands affected by the coal mining operation at any time. It shall be the duty of certified mining inspectors to protect the citizens of the commonwealth by carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

During the operation of a coal mine the operator shall provide the inspector with a detailed set of maps showing all ventilation shafts, airflow currents, shaft construction, pillar placement, all drill holes, excavations, lengths and entrances of all tunnels, locations of any bodies of water dammed or held back in any portion of the mine, or any bodies of water, surface or otherwise, that may have an effect or be affected by the mining operation. These maps shall be drawn to a scale of not more than one hundred feet to one inch.

If, during the course of an inspection of any pit, tunnel, excavation, coal refuse pile or area affected by the mining operation, an inspector determines that a condition of imminent danger exists, he may issue an immediate cease-work order. After having delivered a copy of the cease-work order to the licensee or served notice on the premises of the mine and having delivered a copy to the commissioner, the inspector shall petition the commissioner to appoint a special investigating commission to accompany the inspector to the part of the mining operation where the condition of imminent danger is alleged to exist.

All mining inspectors shall be required to submit monthly and annual reports to the commissioner concerning all relevant data on coal mining operations in the commonwealth and any questions of mine safety or public health and environmental damage or any possible violation of the provisions of this chapter. Whenever a cease-work order is issued by an inspector he shall make a special report to the commissioner stating the reasons for the cease-work order and the actions taken to remedy the situation.

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