The 35-year coal mining veteran and Kentucky native was most recently president of operation for Arch before retiring in January 2014. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of mining operations for ICG.

Snavely replaces Dr. Len Peters, who was appointed by former Gov. Steve Beshear in 2008. Peters officially submitted notice that he was stepping down last November.

He will oversee implementation of all state environmental protection and some federal environmental programs, the EEC said, including the federal Clean Air Act Title V and Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit programs, the Clean Water Act NPDES wastewater discharge permit program, and the regulation of hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet includes the Department for Environmental Protection, Department for Natural Resources and Department for Energy Development and Independence.