RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – What is currently an abandoned mine and empty field could potentially bring a new industry to the state of West Virginia.
Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon is currently in the works with multiple benefits to the state.
CEO of Appalachian Salmon Austin Caperton said, “When you have a depleting resource like coal, it goes away and the jobs leave. We’re going to try to create an industry that never leaves.”
And what does an old coal mine have to do with raising salmon? The pure coal water it contains.
The old Maple Meadow Mine holds around four billion gallons of that water underground.
“The beauty of our system is that we take and put back.” Caperton said, “We plan to take the water out down the road here and process it in a facility… once it is used it will be deep cleaned and it will go back into the mine at another location about a mile away from here.”
As a popular spot for locals to hunt, the facility will only be leasing 50 out of the 900 acres of land.
Local resident James Hutchison said, “We need something. There’s a lot of people that could use work if they would work.”
After receiving a five million dollar grant from the governor, Appalachian Salmon’s CEO said there are still plenty of funds to be raised before breaking ground on what could potentially change the state of West Virginia.
Caperton said, “The people of West Virginia are the most industrious, most creative workers I’ve ever been around. I have no doubt that we can pull in the talent and I have no doubt that we can produce a product.”