The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has acquired a site near Mace, West Virginia for a new facility that will focus on the mining industry and advance the agency’s research capabilities. The CDC will use the site for the new National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Underground Mine Safety and Health Research Laboratory. The new lab will replace the former Lake Lynn Experimental Mine in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and will support research programs focused on miner safety and health issues.

“The new facility will allow NIOSH to once again conduct full-scale mine explosion studies, support research on various topics such as refuge alternatives and fire suppression, and address other issues critical to the safety and health of mine workers,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., M.P.H.

CDC has already started the planning, design, and construction process for the underground mine safety research facility. The agency anticipates the facility to be completed approximately three years after construction begins.

Located in the Pittsburgh suburbs, urban sprawl hindered Lake Lynn’s ability to conduct important tests, especially those related to explosions. The new site includes approximately 465 acres located off U.S. Route 219 in Randolph and Pocahontas Counties, West Virginia.

“NIOSH will now be able to conduct critical research that had to be suspended or redirected after the closing of the Lake Lynn laboratory,” said Josh Bornstein, M.P.A., Director of CDC’s Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management.