Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said those two states have suspended 2,000 coal miners who failed drug tests. Some of them are licensed in West Virginia and could mine here.
Companies are trying to screen for drug abuse.
“A number of companies have instituted mandatory drug testing programs over the past few years,” Hamilton said. “Not all companies have followed those progressive steps. There’s some inconsistency within the industry at the current time.”
Phil Smith, spokesman for the United Mine Workers, said no union miner wants to work beside an impaired employee.
“That includes supervisors, contractors, inspectors, truck drivers, upper management and anyone else who may come onto mine property,” he said.