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MSHA News Release: [02/24/2006]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot
Phone Number: (202) 693-9406
Release Number: 06-340-ATL

MSHA Files Complaint Against Perry County Mine Owner
Injunction Seeks Remedy for Non-Payment of Penalties

LONDON, Ky. - The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, seeking an injunction against Harold Simpson, who has chronically failed to pay assessed civil money penalties for violations of the Mine Act. The suit names Simpson Mining Company Inc., Motivation Enterprise Corporation and Harold Simpson, controlling owner and operator.

"MSHA will use all available legal means to ensure the deterrent effect of penalties," said David G. Dye, acting administrator for the mine safety and health administration.

Dye added, "We have asked Congress to dramatically increase the penalties we can assess for egregious safety violations. The authority to assess and collect penalties is crucial to MSHA's mission of protecting miners' safety and health, and we will exercise that authority to the full extent of the law."

MSHA has assessed numerous civil money penalties for safety and health violations, which have been upheld by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, against Simpson Mining Company and Motivation Enterprise Corporation mines at the following sites:

Delphia mines from 1988 through 2002 -- $122,304 in civil money penalties. Motivation Enterprise Mine No.1 from 2004 to present -- $80,182; Mine No. 2 from 2001 through 2004 -- $329,237; and Mine No. 3 from 2004 to present -- $44,319. All mines are located in Perry County.

Since the 1980s, Harold Simpson has been an agent or operator of additional mines in Kentucky and has accumulated over $500,000 in additional unpaid civil money penalties arising from final orders of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

The complaint filed by MSHA today asks that the operator be enjoined from failing to pay penalties for future violations of the Mine Safety and Health Act and be required to post a bond with the court to guarantee future compliance with the law.

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