Austin Caperton Resigns as West Virginia DEP Head

Austin Caperton, the former coal executive who has served as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection during the Justice Administration, will step down on Januray 18, 2021.  A new Secretary has not been named.

Caperton was controversial both for his rulings favorable to the Mountain Valley Pipeline and his approval of the Rockwool air quality permit in Jefferson County.  He was lauded by the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association for “balancing the need to protect the environment with the importance of working with industry to grow manufacturing responsibly in West Virginia.”

In response to the blowback over his Rockwool permit approval, Caperton said “Based on all available information . . . we see no threat to the health of our citizens and no threat to our environment.  Our scientists and engineers . . . have assured me there is virtually no other state in America that would have denied this permit.”