Friday, May 08, 2009

Alcoa gets water permit, state files motion

Bruce Henderson had the story this morning about Alcoa getting a state water quality permit, the last step before getting a federal renewal of its license to operate the Yadkin River hydroelectric plants. Here's the company's announcement:

North Carolina approves water quality certificate for Yadkin Project, clears the way for FERC to issue Alcoa a long-term license
RALEIGH (MAY 7, 2009) – The N.C. Division of Water Quality today issued Alcoa Power Generating Inc. a required water quality certificate for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project. The action clears the way for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue a new long-term license for the Yadkin Project.
“Obtaining this water quality certificate was the last major milestone in the relicensing effort that we began in 2002,” said Gene Ellis, APGI licensing and property manager. “We hope FERC will now move quickly to issue a new long-term license for the Yadkin Project so that we can begin implementing the important benefits in our relicensing settlement agreement.”
Once FERC issues a new long-term license for the Yadkin Project, APGI will begin implementing the relicensing settlement agreement that it negotiated with state and federal agencies, local governments, homeowners and recreational users, business organizations, environmental interest groups and others. The agreement will improve water quality in the Yadkin River, create new recreational opportunities around the lakes, better protect the water supply during drought, provide for increased water withdrawals by local municipalities and set aside land for conservation purposes.
A day earlier, Stanly County posted a couple of items about the ongoing campaign to recapture the license and have the state operate the hydro projects. Here are a couple of items Bruce Thompson passed along, including a link to the state's 90-page motion to intervene in the case before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:
This is to notify you that the State of North Carolina has today filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") a "Motion of Intervenor, the State of North Carolina, by and Through its Governor, Beverly Eaves Perdue, for Approval of a Reasonable Schedule to Present Evidence to Assist the Commission in its Determination of Alcoa's Re-Licensing Application and of the State's Request that the United States Recapture the License for a Public Use" in FERC docket number P-2197-073 (Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. - Yadkin Hydroelectric Project). You can access the State's Motion on-line by going to the FERC website under Documents and Filing - see

Just in case you have problems obtaining an on-line copy of the State's Motion from FERC, I am also attaching hereto a courtesy copy of the State's Motion.
Should you have any questions concerning this email message, its attachment or anything else, please let me know.
My contact information is as follows:

I. Faison Hicks
Special Deputy Attorney General
North Carolina Department of Justice

And U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell and five other N.C. congressmen -- Brad Miller, David Price, Bobby Etheridge, Mike McIntyre and G.K. Butterfield, -- have written FERC asking it to allot plenty of time for the state to make its case why the license renewal should be denied and why it should support recapture.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean we can finally end this nonsense about the state taking the dams? Here's hoping the feds give Alcoa a license so our legislators can get back to the business at hand and focus on the real challenges facing our state.

Anonymous said...

1)Confiscate private property
2)Destroy shareholders assets
3)Poison any likelihood for any potential employer to locate any facility in Stanly County
4)Establish a financially unsustainable, hideously expensive power authority that will be ineptly and corruptly operated for the next 50 years.
5)Establish a huge financial obligation that the citizens of Stanly County and the State of North Carolina will be paying for dururing their lifetimes and those of their children.
The actions of Tony Dennis, Lindsey Dunevant, Roger Dick of Stanly County show that they are out of their depth.
Hopefully the isue these clowns created is over and they focus their attention on things like making sure the Stanly County schools can afford to feed their children lunch.

Anonymous said...

Let's clear up some misinformation here...
1) Alcoa does not own the flow of the water.
2) While Alcoa may own the dams, it agreed in both the 1958 and 2008 licensing applications to allow the sell of the properties if the license is denied, and even provides within the application it's own estimate of the project purchase price.
3) These dams are a drop in the bucket to Alcoa. They are in the business (with the exceptions of a few profit padding projects such as Yadkin Inc.) of making aluminum. I hardly doubt this will ruin some stock holder in France's assets.
4) Large companies which provide jobs sorely needed in this region could care less about how "nice" we are to companies. They are more concerned in what type of economic incentives we can afford to provide. These incentives are generated by hydroelectric power, which is now monopolized by APGI, therefore prevented from ever reaching local economies.
5) No local or state government is going to be obligated to pay a cent for this project, which, if acquired by the Yadkin River Trust, would be funded wholly by bonds, and would generate revenue for the state, not Alcoa. If the project really costs more to manage then it makes, then why would APGI spend millions to keep it? If I had a project that lost money, I would gladly GIVE it away.

Lets get our facts straight before we start calling names, Jack.

Anonymous said...

"Jack" refers to the second poster, not Jack Betts, writer of this column.

Anonymous said...

The "taking" of the ALCOA system by the state of North Carolina, initiated by Mr's Dennis, Dunevant and Dick is confiscation of private propery. ALCOA built the dams at the expense of shareholders. The actions of Mr's Dennis, Dunevant and Dick have systematically attempted to de-value the asset by expoiting the sense of anger, fear and inferiority felt by the citizens of their region.
Mr's Dennis, Dunevant and Dick Have spent approximately $1m of taxpayers' money with public relations groups to dress up this pig of an idea and pull the wool over the eyes of the low- information third poster.
Tax breaks can help attract industry. However, tax breaks are unlikely to overcome a history of confiscation of the facility of a legacy Stanly County employer like ACOA-which is still the largest payer of property taxes in Stanly County.
The pollution ploy focuses on PCBs in the lakes. No one has linked those to the ALCOA facility. I believe there was a transformer oil disposal facility in the watershed in Davidson County in the '70's and folks went to jail for dumping these chemicals on roadsides. This is a bit of sophistry to get the granola and hiking boot crowd to ally with the government sanctioned theft of private property.
The watershed is small so the poster is correct (for once) that amount of power
produced does not support long term fixed contracts that are the back-bone of the electricity business.The system produces less electricity than ANY single Duke plant and was insufficient to support the smelter when it was in operation. So this idea that this facility will be an economic engine is ludicrous and indicates that Mr's Dennis and Dick-both of whom pose as businessmen either do not know how to run businesses or believe that folks in Stanly County are too unsophisticated to see through their posturing which means they are contemptuous of their fellow citizens.
The concept that a state run facility will be efficient enough to compete with private industry does not factor in the degree of corruption and ineptitude of the state of North Carolina and Stanly County goverments. From Mike Easley's cars, Mrs Easley's job that seems to have no associated productive work, Tyler Hansbrough's mama's job at UNC, the drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants ring at the Stanly County DMV, the misappropriation of funds arrests at North Syanly High School, the human fecal matter floating in Long Creek courtesy of the incompetent operation of the Albemarle water treatment plant make my case that any operation as complex as runnibng a hydroelectric facility is well beyond the paygrades of anyone the Stanly County Commisioners or the state government can come up with.
If this goes forward as Mr's Dennis, Dunevant and Dick wish, North Carolina taxpayers are going yo be subsidizing the revenue bonds fot the next 50 years and the new Stalny County government officials are going to be explaining to prospective employers that the recent actions of Mr's Dennis, Dunevant and Dick were highly misguided and counterproductive. The Stanly County Commission should focus on learning how to execute simple easements, support school lunches and keep their employees' hands out of the till.
In the ALCOA fiasco, they are out of their league.