West Virginia site under consideration for mine safety lab

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The federal government is considering a West Virginia site for a new research center and testing laboratory for underground mine safety.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is interested in a 460-acre tract straddling the Randolph-Pocahontas County line near Mace.

If developed, plans call for a 164,000-square-foot underground safety test lab with above-ground office and storage buildings.

Federal officials are looking to replace the Lake Lynn Experimental Mine, located in a limestone quarry near Fairchance, Pennsylvania. That site operated until 2012, when the landowner opted not to sell or extend the lease.

After a public comment period ends on April 5, a final environmental impact statement will be completed, and a decision will be made on whether to build at the West Virginia site.

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