FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 1, 2016) – Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles G. Snavely today announced the appointment of John D. Small, the director of the Division of Mine Safety, to the position of Deputy Commissioner of the Department for Natural Resources.
Also announced were: Jeffrey C. Baird as Director of the Division of Mine Permits and Jeffrey J. Harmon Esq. as Deputy General Counsel. All three appointments were effective May 31, 2016.
“The cabinet is extremely fortunate to have persons of such ability and experience bring their talents to these key positions,” Secretary Snavely said. “I look forward to working closely with them to conserve and sustain Kentucky’s abundant natural resources.”
Small, a native of Inez, Kentucky who has spent the past 38 years in management positions in the coal mining industry will remain acting director of the Division of Mine Safety until a replacement is named.
Prior to his retirement in 2015 from Excel Mining, a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners LP, Small served as vice president of East Kentucky Operations for nine years. He also served on the board of the Kentucky Mining Institute and as president of Post 2 of the Smokeaters Mine Rescue Association. A graduate of the Leadership Kentucky program, Small brings excellent managerial skills to his new position.
Baird, a native of Seattle, has spent the past 23 years in Kentucky, most recently focusing on mining and environmental issues as vice president and major projects manager for ECSI, LLC, a Lexington, Ky.-based engineering and consulting practice. He also has a dozen years’ experience as a senior litigation paralegal for Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, LLP working primarily with environmental, natural resources and healthcare groups.
He is a graduate of Sullivan University in Lexington, where he also later taught computer science as an adjunct professor.
Harmon, who grew up in Covington, Ky., has practiced law for the past 34 years, most recently at Cors & Bassett, LLC. As chairman of the Environmental Group, he advised clients on all aspects of environmental laws and regulations, including compliance, permitting and brownfields redevelopment.
He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and received his J.D. at George Washington University with honors. He has taught at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Institute of Environmental Health.