September 27, 2017


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today issued a statement on the nomination of David Zatezalo to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

“In West Virginia we are painfully familiar with the human toll that accompanies a mine accident. I have comforted too many families who have lost loved ones serving our nation in the mines. Strong leadership at the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) is non-negotiable. Since the beginning of 2017, 12 miners have lost their lives – six of those miners were West Virginians. These tragic losses directly illustrate the ongoing need for strong and experienced leadership at MSHA, as well as comprehensive funding for MSHA’s programs.

While I appreciate Mr. Zatezalo’s willingness to serve, I cannot support his confirmation to lead MSHA. After reviewing his qualifications and record of safety during his time in the coal industry, I am not convinced that Mr. Zatezalo is suited to oversee the federal agency that implements and enforces mine safety laws and standards.”