By Bob Weaver

After the hubbub of the 2006 Sago mine disaster, the smoke is settling and fines are being reduced.

The Obama administration has agreed to cut in half the fines that International Coal Group was charged to pay in the second of two legal cases over violations following the investigation of the Sago Disaster.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration officials have agreed to settle a dozen violations by slashing the fines from $134,000 to $72,000, a reduction of 46 percent.

Judge Jerold Feldman of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission ruled that violations over the company's failure to immediately report the incident to regulators and mine safety teams -- were not as serious as MSHA had alleged.

A September 13 decision is the second time Judge Jerold has has reduced fines related to the Sago disaster.

Feldman reduced fines for the other violations from $4,000 to about $1,000, and approved a deal in which MSHA dropped fines for 31 other violations from $28,000 to $25,000.

See MASSEY FAILED TO REPORT ACCIDENTS PRIOR TO TRAGIC DISASTER - Massey Settled $2.4 Billion In Fines For $20 Million

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