Virginia Tech and West Virginia University are among the first group of winners of research grants for mine health and safety issues.
The Alpha Foundation announced Monday it’s awarding the first $10 million of the $48 million it has to spend.
The foundation was formed under a $210 million settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources after the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.
Sixteen research proposals won initial approval, and final budgets for them are now being discussed.
The only non-academic winner is the United Steelworkers. It will focus on hazards in metal and non-metal mines.
The other winners are the Colorado School of Mines, Northeastern University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the universities of Kentucky, Utah, Pittsburgh, Arizona and Connecticut.