Local News

Court rules for Alcoa over hydro-electric dams

Posted October 1, 2012
Updated October 2, 2012

— One of the world's largest producers of aluminum will be able to submit a new request for certification so that it can operate four dams along the Yadkin River.

Alcoa Inc. originally received its certification in May 2008 for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project, but the state revoked it in 2010 after it said the company misled state officials when it failed to disclose details on the project's ability to meet the state's water quality standards.

Last month, Alcoa Inc., filed a motion for an administrative law judge in Winston-Salem to dismiss without prejudice its appeal concerning water quality certification.

The dismissal opens the gate for the company to file for new certification to obtain a 50-year license for the project.

The dams, along the Yadkin River, which generated nearly $8 million in 2010, once provided power for Alcoa’s aluminum plant in the area, but that facility closed in 2007.

The electricity is now sold on the open market.


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  • Americanfirst Oct 2, 2012

    Another act of communisim by our great state - old Bev learned well from your socialist president!

  • geosol Oct 2, 2012

    So how about those REPUBLICANS who wanted the state to take over the dams? They should be impeached, right wingers?

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 2, 2012

    To quote Obama, Alcoa didn't build those dams so Bev can seize them.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 2, 2012

    This was a socialist property grab by Bev to take those dams from Alcoa.

    Much like our socialist President and his seizing of Chrysler and GM in 2009.

    If I was Alcoa and I was forced to give up the dams, I would blow them up and give the rubble to the state.

  • NotFromHere Oct 2, 2012

    They have at times almost drained High Rock lake just to keep their dam flowing. People with homes and businesses along the lake were left with docks that had no water underneath them and boats that were lying in the mud on the floor of the lake. I believe they lost their last contract with the state because they refused to agree to minimum lake levels.

  • tgentry1005 Oct 2, 2012

    It does not matter which party started the mess, the State of North Carolina should not be in the "business" of producing electric power or any other type of "business" in competition with private industry. The politicians have a bigger job than they seem capable of doing just running the State...

  • Frizz Oct 2, 2012

    I'm not sure how a dam pollutes. And even if it does, other types of pollution are allowed if the polluter pays an annual fine.

    Sounds like the State wants to take over the dams so they can sell the electricity to the power companies.

  • dwntwnboy Oct 2, 2012

    "Alcoa believes the dams are the company’s property and investment and that the state should not be able to take it"- now they know how the "little guy" feels when the state comes in with their takeover of private property. If they can't meet clean water standards, then they should be stopped. They don't own the water- it belongs to ALL of us.

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 2, 2012

    Clearly not enough information to understand the ruling. But, the one point I saw was "misleading" which is typical of a company which does not have the envioriment as a top priority.

  • wolfpack41 Oct 2, 2012

    1) A predecessor of the current ALCOA built all of the dams. ALCOA also pays property taxes on all of the land it owns above and below the water.

    2) Criticism of Perdue is OK but the story doesn't define how this whole mess started. It was initiated by the Stanly County Commissioners who are almost entirely all Republicans. Representatives from both parties lobbied for the 2010 legislation. My point is that both sides are to blame on this issue.