CHARLESTON, W.Va. — While admitting his office is early in analyzing potential sites for man-made lakes, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton said a plan to present to Gov. Jim Justice is being made.
“We don’t exactly know what the governor wants, so we’ve put together what we consider to be a reasonable presentation,” he said last week before the Senate Finance Committee.
Justice said during last month’s State of the State Address he wants to build man-made lakes for the purposes of hydroelectric power and recreation.
Caperton said his department is working with the state Divisions of Tourism and Highways, and are preparing to present a plan to the governor.
He added there are multiple matters the government will consider when deciding on the best locations to build lakes, such as flood management and how floodplains would change after construction.
“Flood control is important to our analysis. It also requires you to put big dams in some pretty major streams,” Caperton noted. “The bigger you get and the bigger the stream, the harder and longer it is if you are able to get it.”
Other factors influencing construction Caperton noted were local wildlife populations and electrical and natural gas services.
The secretary invited lawmakers to suggest their districts if they feel a lake would be suitable.
“If any of you all have places in your territories and you think there ought to be a lake here, we can do a lot of things very quickly in terms of determining whether something is a candidate,” he said.