David Zatezalo has been nominated Assistant Secretary for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Trump Administration announced on September 2, 2017. This announcement comes on the heels of the appointment of Wayne Palmer as interim Head of MSHA.

Zatezalo is the former CEO of Rhino Resources, a Kentucky-based coal company. He began his career as a miner with Consolidation Coal in 1974. He later served in a management role in the coal segment of American Electrical Power. He holds a degree in mine engineering from West Virginia University.

The aggregate community was lobbying for someone from with a metal/non-metal background to take this role. However, industry professionals expected the Trump Administration to offer this position to a mining professional with coal experience. A significant question will focus on the rulemaking agenda of the agency with Zatezalo heading it. Specifically, what will be the direction of the proposed workplace examination rule, which is due to take effect in October 2, 2017?