CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- An administrative law judge has been ordered to revisit a finding that a Patriot Coal subsidiary displayed a "pattern of violations."
The Mine Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced the ruling by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
The judge had invalidated the administration's enforcement action involving Brody Mining of Wharton and determined U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez failed to define what a pattern of violations entailed.
The commission ruled Perez's definition was adequate and returned the case to the judge for further proceedings.
Pattern-of-violation notices require mines to halt operations until significant violations are reduced. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says since receiving the notice in October 2013, the operator has cut its rate of significant violations in half.
Two workers died at the mine complex in 2014.