President Trump Nominates Wheeling’s David Zatezalo As Nation’s Top Mine Safety Official

WHEELING — President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Wheeling resident David G. Zatezalo to serve as assistant secretary of labor for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The White House, in a Saturday press release, issued a list of more than three dozen nominees for various federal agencies, which included Zatezalo as MSHA chief.

Zatezalo is the former head of Rhino Resources, a coal company that clashed with federal regulators when the Obama administration tried to boost industry-wide enforcement following the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion.

He retired in late 2014 as chairman of Rhino after serving in several top posts. He joined the Lexington, Ky.-based mining company in 2007.

Zatezalo also previously served as president of Hopedale Mining, near Cadiz.

Zatezalo began his mining career in 1974 with Consolidation Coal Co. as a United Mine Workers laborer, became a foreman and subsequently general superintendent for Southern Ohio Coal Co. and general manager of AEP’s Windsor Coal Co.

He later served as vice president of operations of AEP’s Appalachian mining operations.

He also worked in Australia for Broken Hill Proprietary as a general mine manager.

Zatezalo received a mining engineering degree from West Virginia University and his MBA from Ohio University in 1994.


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