By the Associated Press
The head spot in the state’s Office of Mine Safety and Licensing has been vacant for two months, since then-director Johnny Greene retired at the end of last year. Now, Energy and Environment Cabinet secretary Len Peters has appointed Freddie Lewis to fill the role.
Lewis previously worked for nine years in the agency’s Pikeville regional office as a mine safety analyst, mine inspector, mine rescue team member and an instructor. He most recently served as manager of safety and training for Alliance Coal Company.
Lewis comes with endorsements from one of the nation’s best known mine safety advocates, Lexington attorney Tony Oppegard, as well as United Mine Workers of America Vice President Steve Earle.
In his new position, Lewis will be responsible for enforcing laws that keep the state’s 18,000 coal miners safe.