OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill bringing mining laws up to date with current technology cleared the House of Representatives Monday with a vote of 67 to 20.
Senate Bill 370 by Rep. Rick West and Sen. Mark Allen would allow coal operators to use a modern method of mining that the law, as it currently reads, would not allow.
“With all of the technological advances in the mining industry, many of Oklahoma’s laws are outdated,” said West, R-Heavener. “This measure updates those rules and regulations and streamlines blasting operations while ensuring safety for the industry and the public.”
The bill provides rules and procedures for the use of explosives in mining operations within the Coal Mining Reclamation Act. It also specifies that people who use explosives, blasting agents or detonators must be certified by the Oklahoma Mining Commission.
A fiscal analysis predicts the measure may make blasting cheaper on the whole for coal mining operations.
“I’m grateful so many representatives saw the need for updated laws. This bill will benefit coal miners who work hard to provide energy for so many Oklahomans,” said West.
SB 370 now needs final approval from the state Senate before advancing to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk for her consideration.
West represents House District 3, which includes portions of LeFlore County.