A. The Board of Coal Mining Examiners may suspend, revoke, or take other action regarding any certificate upon finding that the holder has (i) failed to comply with the continuing education requirements within the period following the suspension of the certificate as provided in § 45.1-161.34; (ii) been intoxicated while in duty status; (iii) neglected his duties; (iv) violated any provision of this Act or any other coal mining law of the Commonwealth; (v) used any controlled substance without the prescription of a licensed prescriber; or (vi) other sufficient cause. The Board shall also suspend, revoke, or take other action regarding the first class mine foreman certificate of any mine foreman who fails to display a thorough understanding of the roof control plan and ventilation for the area of the mine for which he is responsible for implementing, when examined on-site by a mine inspector in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Board. In such a case, the Board shall make a determination, based on evidence presented by interested parties, of whether the mine foreman had a thorough knowledge of such plans at the time of his examination by the mine inspector.
B. The Board may act to suspend, revoke, or take other action regarding any certificate upon the presentation of written charges alleging prohibited conduct set forth in subsection A by (i) the Chief or the Director or his designated agent; (ii) the operator of a mine at which such person is employed; or (iii) ten persons employed at the mine at which such person is employed, or, if less than ten persons are employed at the mine, a majority of the employees at the mine. The Board may act on its own initiative to suspend, revoke, or take other action on any certificate for grounds set forth in item (i) of subsection A.
C. Any person holding a certification issued by the Board shall report to the Chief, within 30 days of any criminal conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction for possession or use of any controlled substance without the prescription of a licensed prescriber. This conviction shall result in the immediate temporary suspension of all certificates held by such person pending hearing before the Board.
D. Any miner present at any mine shall be deemed to have given consent to reasonable search, at the direction of the Chief by employees of the Department, of his person and his personal property located at the mine. This search shall be limited to the investigation of potential violations of the Coal Mine Safety Act (§ 45.1-161.7 et seq.).
E. All information regarding substance abuse test results of certified persons, written or otherwise received by the Department or Board, shall be confidential. Any hearing of the Board in which this information is presented shall be conducted as a closed session in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).
G. Prior to suspending, revoking, or taking other action regarding a certificate, the Board shall give due notice to the holder of the certificate and conduct a hearing. Any hearing shall be conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4020 unless the parties agree to informal proceedings. The hearing may be conducted by the Board or, in the Board’s discretion, by a hearing officer as provided in § 2.2-4025 et seq.
H. Any hearing conducted after the temporary suspension of a miner’s certificate due to (i) a criminal conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction for possession or use of any controlled substance without the prescription of a licensed prescriber as provided for in subsection C, (ii) a failure to pass a substance abuse test required by the Chief pursuant to § 45.1-161.78, (iii) a failure to pass a pre-employment substance abuse screening test, (iv) a discharge for violation of the company’s substance or alcohol abuse policies, (v) a positive test for the use of any controlled substance without the prescription of a licensed prescriber, (vi) a positive test for intoxication while on duty status, or (vii) a failure to complete a substance abuse program pursuant to § 45.1-161.87, shall be conducted within 60 days of the temporary suspension. The Board shall make every effort to hold the hearing within 40 days of the temporary suspension.
I. Any person who has been aggrieved by a decision of the Board shall be entitled to judicial review of such decision. Appeals from such decisions shall be in accordance with Article 5 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.
Code 1950, §§ 45-29, 45-31; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-13; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28; 2004, c. 855; 2007, cc. 894, 914.