Longtime inspector named safety chief

coal mining

(Coal mine photo courtesy US Geographical Survey)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A longtime inspector has been appointed
executive director of the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and
Licensing, the agency charged with enforcing laws that keep the
state's 18,000 coal miners safe.

Freddie 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 Co.

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.

Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters said he's confident
Lewis will focus on keeping Kentucky's miners safe.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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