Gov. Justice congratulates and thanks WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton for his service


​CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton will transition to a new role outside of state government in January 2021. 

“Austin is a dear friend of mine and has been a true superstar in my administration. He has served the people of West Virginia incredibly well for four years and I sincerely thank him for his service to our state,” Gov. Justice said. “While I’m sorry that he will be leaving my team, I know that he has some great opportunities that he wants to pursue. I couldn’t be happier for Austin, and I wish him nothing but the best in all of his future endeavors.”

Sec. Caperton, who recently turned 69, was appointed to the position in January 2017 by Gov. Justice. 

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the great state of West Virginia and its citizens, Sec. Caperton said. “I can not say enough about the quality of leadership Governor Justice has provided to me and to the State. This year has made me realize, more than ever, that our days are limited. I want to pursue other interests and I have decided to start now, rather than later.”

Under Caperton, the WVDEP made historic progress in several areas, including disbursing over $100 million in grant funding through the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program, helping West Virginia meet all federal ambient air quality standards for the first time in over 40 years, and developing the T&T Treatment Facility – a groundbreaking watershed restoration project in the Cheat River watershed.

Prior to his time at the WVDEP, Sec. Caperton served as the president of the legal and strategic business consulting firm, Caperton, Inc., for 27 years.

Sec. Caperton’s departure is effective at midnight on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021; the end of Gov. Justice’s current term of office. The next Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will be appointed by Gov. Justice at a later date.​

Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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