Alpha Foundation culls 160 mine research pitches

POSTED: 3:58 AM Jun 21 2013   UPDATED: 1:28 PM Jun 21 2013

A foundation with $48 million to spend on research into coal miners' safety and health has reviewed 160 proposals as it moves closer to picking winners by Oct. 1.

The Alpha Foundation sent rejection and acceptance letters out this week.       

Chairman Michael Karmis won't say how many pitches survived the first round, or what their projects plan to focus on.     

The foundation now wants detailed proposals and budgets by August. Eventually, the pool will be whittled to 10-15 projects, and some $10 million in grants will be awarded.      

The Alpha 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.    

Alpha inherited the mine where 29 men died when it bought Massey Energy.