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Can David Zatezalo Restore Civility to MSHA?

9.29.17

President Trump recently nominated David Zatezalo to be the new head of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The nomination raises many questions, including what do we know about Mr. Zatezalo? Also, if he is confirmed, what would the industry like to see in the agency under his direction? In the article, "Can David Zatezalo Restore Civility to MSHA?" featured in Rock Road Recycle, Attorney Travis Vance provide insight on these concerns.

"President Trump recently nominated David Zatezalo to be the new head of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The nomination raises many questions, including what do we know about Mr. Zatezalo? Also, if he is confirmed, what would the industry like to see in the agency under his direction?

To the first point, Mr. Zatezalo is a political and Washington outsider; however, he is well known within the mining industry. We all know Mr. Zatezalo is a retired coal mining executive, having worked for Rhino Resources, as well as being a former union laborer early in his mining career. As a former mining executive, Mr. Zatezalo is certainly not an outsider to the industry – nor is he some ideological political appointment; rather, he is a reflection of the mining industry. As such, we expect (and hope) that he will restore civility between the often difficult agency and the mining community. Indeed, as a reported former miner, mine foreman, superintendent, general manager, president and CEO of a coal company, it is hoped that the 62 year old will be quickly confirmed and that MSHA will be able to fill this tremendously important role. The potential that an agency head might carry over real world experience into the agency post is refreshing, but uncertain and untested. The real struggle may be changing entrenched mindsets on those within the agency who are tasked with enforcement."

To read the full article, please visit Rock Road Recycle

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