HELPER, Utah (AP) - Federal regulators are taking some of Utah's deep coal reserves out of play in fallout from the Crandall Canyon disasters two years ago.
Some operators are deciding on their own to bypass rich coal seams, but they are doing so under larger pressures from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
In another case, MSHA ordered West Ridge, one of Utah's newest mines, to stop longwall mining 3,000 feet underground in February because of coal outbursts.
MSHA ordered a new method of mining that effectively cuts West Ridge's coal reserves in half.
Mining executives complain MSHA is going overboard. The agency's coal-mining boss, Kevin Stricklin, makes no apologies for erring on the side of safety.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)