§22A-11-1. Legislative findings, purposes and intent.

The Legislature hereby finds and declares:

(1) That the first priority and concern of all persons in the coal mining industry must be the health and safety of its most precious resource - the miner;

(2) That in furtherance of this priority, the provisions of article two of this chapter are designed to protect the health and safety of this State’s coal miners by requiring certain minimum standards for, among other things, certain health and safety technology used by each underground miner;

(3) That the proper implementation of this technology in West Virginia’s underground mines would benefit from the specialized oversight of persons with experience and competence in coal mining, coal mine health and safety and the expanding role of technology; and

(4) That, in furtherance of provisions of this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to direct that the Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety, on a continuous basis, evaluate and study issues relating to the commercial availability and functional and operational capability of existing and emerging technologies in coal mine health and safety, as well as issues relating to the implementation, compliance and enforcement of regulatory requirements governing the technologies.