Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- The Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says it's changed rules for rescue teams at small coal mines to comply with a federal court ruling.
MSHA said Tuesday the changes require employee teams at small mines and state inspectors to train twice annually rather than just once.
State teams also must participate in two mine rescue contests annually, instead of substituting experience for one.
MSHA says inspectors must participate, not merely serve as judges.
MSHA says the changes affect 165 mines in Kentucky that use state rescue teams.
Congress required MSHA to strengthen rescue team rules after three high-profile accidents killed 19 West Virginia and Kentucky miners in 2006.
A federal judge overturned part of the new rules in February.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)