FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2018) — John D. Small was appointed commissioner of the Department for Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles G. Snavely announced today.
Secretary Snavely also announced the appointment of George L. Seay, Jr. as deputy commissioner of DNR. Both appointments are effective March 1, 2018.
Small, a native of Inez, Ky., who previously spent 38 years in management positions in the coal mining industry, has been in the Cabinet since 2016, first as director of the Division of Mine Safety and, most recently, as deputy commissioner of DNR.
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. He is a graduate of the Leadership Kentucky program.
Seay, formerly an executive advisor in the Public Protection Cabinet and deputy general counsel of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission grew up in Hopkinsville, Ky. He later graduated from Hanover College and the University of Louisville School Of Law. He was a member of the Natural Resources & Environmental Service Team for Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP in Lexington, Ky., where he concentrated his practice in the areas of environmental, mineral, natural resources and administrative law.
He previously worked in DNR as a deputy attorney in the 1970s, handling environmental litigation, enforcement, and permitting matters under all major federal, state and local regulatory programs.
“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.”