CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appointed Harold Ward as the state's new environmental secretary on Wednesday.
The Department of Environmental Protection is in charge of regulating everything from air and water quality to overseeing abandoned mine lands.
Ward was most recently deputy secretary of operations and director of the mining and reclamation division. He joined state government in 1989 after graduating from West Virginia University, according to a news release from the governor's office.
“Harold Ward has been a superstar in the WVDEP for a long time and the work he’s done during my administration,” Justice said in a statement.
He replaces Austin Caperton, 69, who served as cabinet secretary from January 2017 until his resignation last month to "pursue other interests."