Crandall Canyon Mine Operator Will Pay $500,000 Fine for Two Charges

(KCPW News) Misdemeanor charges have been filed against Genwal Resources, operator of the Crandall Canyon mine that collapsed in 2007, killing nine people. U.S. Attorney for Utah David Barlow says after a lengthy investigation, Genwal has been charged for failing to timely report to the Mining Safety and Health Administration a coal outburst that occurred months before the mine collapsed, and violating health and safety standards by mining in an area that MSHA prohibited.

“In filing these two criminal charges today, we are indicating that we believe the company did violate the law in a way, which would allow us to prove beyond a reasonable doubt their guilt in a court of law,” he said Friday.

The company will plead guilty and pay fines of $250,000 per charge. Barlow noted as part of the agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will not bring ther charges against Genwal or its employees in relation to the accident.

“Our office’s duty, it’s mandate, is not to react on what public perception might be. It’s not to take steps based on what the preference might be in a particular community, but instead for us to faithfully execute the laws as they were written,” he said.

In a statement, Genwal said the agreement reflects that the lack of evidence that the company’s conduct was responsible for the collapses of August 6 and 16, 2007.