Massey Energy sues to strip federal coal industry regulator of power on mine-ventilation plans

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Massey Energy is suing to strip the federal government of its power to influence how coal mines are ventilated.

The troubled Richmond, Va.-based coal company said Tuesday it would file a federal lawsuit. Massey wants to limit the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration's oversight of mine ventilation to reviewing plans for consistency with prudent engineering practices.

Massey contends the agency imposed a plan that made it harder to ventilate the Upper Big Branch mine before an explosion killed 29 men at the southern West Virginia operation April 5. Mines rely on ventilation to remove methane gas and coal dust.

Massey says the lawsuit isn't directly related to the explosion.

An MSHA spokeswoman declined to comment.