Veteran miner named W.Va. Safety Chief - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Veteran miner named W.Va. Safety Chief

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A longtime mine inspector and safety official will now head such in West Virginia.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Eugene White on Monday as director for the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.

White most recently has been the agency's acting deputy director. He's been with the agency since 2001. He's also served on the state's mine emergency team.

White replaces C.A. Phillips, who announced plans earlier this month to retire Monday.

Phillips was acting director and then director for just over two years.

White is the third person to head Miners' Health, Safety and Training since the April 2010 disaster at Upper Big Branch. Twenty-nine men were killed in the Raleigh County explosion, the worst loss of life at a U.S. coal mine in decades.

Following is the news release from Gov. Tomblin's office:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today appointed Eugene White to serve as the Director of the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training (OMHS&T). White has been serving as Deputy Director under C.A. Phillips who recently announced his retirement. The appointment is effective immediately.

"I'm very pleased to announce Eugene White will take over as Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training," said Gov. Tomblin. "Eugene, a former coal miner, has served the public for many years in the OMHS&T. He has made important contributions to mine safety as the Deputy Director. He has also been an integral part of the State's Mine Emergency Team. I know that as Director he will continue to work tirelessly to improve the safety of coal mines across West Virginia. Eugene has the respect and support of our miners and our companies. He will do a great job."

White has worked for the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training since 2001. He has served in a number of positions including Deputy Director and an Inspector, as well as serving as a member of the State's Mine Emergency Team.

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