FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The secretary of Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet has appointed a commissioner for the Department for Natural Resources.

Secretary Charles Snavely announced the appointment of former coal mining executive John D. Small this week.

Small was serving as deputy commissioner in the Department of Natural Resources. His appointment is effective Thursday. Before working in government, Small, a native of Inez in Martin County, spent nearly four decades in management positions in the coal industry. He retired in 2015 from Excel Mining, a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners.

Small replaces former commissioner Allen Luttrell, who resigned in January for personal reasons.

Snavely appointed of George L. Seay, Jr. as deputy commissioner of the department.