State standards aimed at reducing buildups of explosive coal dust in WV underground mines haven't been enforced, according to a report in the Charleston Gazette.

The Gazette reports that more than a fifth of the more than 5,500 dust samples taken from mines by state regulators since August 2011 didn't comply with the standards.

The state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training hasn't issued any citations.

Mine safety advocate Davitt McAteer says the standards don't mean anything if there are no consequences for failing to comply.

The standards require mine operators to use more inert crushed rock to control the buildup of coal dust.

Nearly three years after then Gov. Joe Manchin issued an executive order following the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, West Virginia regulators still haven't begun citing and fining mine operators.

See W.Va.'s new coal dust standards go unenforced  By Ken Ward Jr. for the Charleston Gazette

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