Daily Archives: November 16, 2017

Former Coal Executive With Shoddy Safety Record Will Lead Mine Safety Agency

By: Adam K. Raymond, Source: NY Mag, Originally Published: 11.15.17

The Senate Wednesday confirmed a former coal executive with a dismal safety record to lead the government’s top agency regulating mine safety. President Trump’s nomination of David Zatezalo, former CEO of Kentucky-based Rhino Resources, was approved by a party-line vote of 52-48.

Zatezalo will bring an unconventional perspective to the Mine Health and Safety Administration (MSHA) after serving as a top executive at a company hit with two “pattern of violations” citations by the agency. That specific sanction is a rarely used tool that former MSHA head Joe Main began wielding in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster killed 29 people.