Stanley County, NC, January 08, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- The N.C. Water Rights Committee (www.ncwaterrights.org) is announcing the release of the State Trust Concept, a document that outlines how the State of North Carolina can establish a Trust with respect to the ownership and management of the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project on behalf of North Carolina citizens. This process will obtain and secure the license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Project currently held by Alcoa Power Generation, Inc. (Alcoa) through the FERC’s current relicensing process and other available legal means.
The State Trust Concept will honor most aspects of the Relicensing Settlement Agreement (RSA) negotiated by public and private entities such as Alcoa in 2008, including a comprehensive drought management plan (the “Low Inflow Protocol”), water quality improvements for the Yadkin, and new and expanded public recreation facilities. However, the Trust will provide more benefits to North Carolina state residents than what the RSA and Alcoa have proposed, including:
· Priority consideration to local needs, with the intent of restoring and improving the environmental and economic considerations in and around the Yadkin River.
· Authorization by the State to delegate the licensing, operations, and management on a daily basis of the Project to a utility or utilities subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the State and consistent with the purposes of the Trust.
· Power generated from the Project will be used for the benefit of the electricity consumers of North Carolina, not a multinational company answerable to no one in North Carolina.
· All Alcoa properties in Stanly County will be tested for public health purposes.
· Contamination at the former Badin Works smelter will be cleaned up over and above the minimum levels that Alcoa is required to perform under current law; the objective would clearly be to restore the land and/or water to multiple use purposes.
· A remediation fund will be established to perform necessary testing and remediation of hazardous waste sites in the Yadkin River Basin.
· The Trust will apportion a percentage of electricity from the Yadkin Project output for use by a newly established Regional Economic Development Entity; to the extent that there are green credits flowing from such output, such credits shall belong to the Regional Economic Development Entity.
· The Trust will use a portion of the proceeds from power generation to create a Yadkin River Basin Clean Water Trust Fund to acquire land for water quality improvements, innovative storm water strategies, state of the art waste water improvements and aquatic habitat improvements.
· The Trust will use a portion of the proceeds from power generation to acquire additional land for conservation purposes.
· The Trust will be able to provide funding mechanisms with a focus on assisting local governments to make water quality improvements throughout the Yadkin River Basin.
Alcoa has applied for a 50-year license for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project to continue to operate dams at High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows and Falls Reservoirs along the Yadkin River. If it is granted, Alcoa will have exclusive water rights to conduct hydroelectric operations on the upper Yadkin for 50 years, and the opportunity to make millions in profits selling that electricity with little return for North Carolina, at it has been doing with the Project since its previous licensing in 1958.
However, if the Trust is adopted by State and federal officials now reviewing the license for the Project, the people of North Carolina would once again be in control of their water as the Trust would be answerable to the citizens. The Trust will cooperate fully with the Governor on any and all drought emergencies throughout the State of North Carolina as well.
The full text of the State Trust Concept can be accessed at the N.C. Water Rights Web site at:
The N.C. Water Rights Committee is a group of concerned citizens, business leaders, government officials and others who have joined together to make sure that the citizens of North Carolina are fully informed about the critical issue of the public’s water rights.
“The State Trust Concept goes far beyond anything Alcoa has proposed for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project,” said Keith Crisco, president of the N.C. Water Rights Committee. “We believe it explains clearly our goals for what the Project should become over the next 50 years, and how ambitious we are in desiring improvements for the Yadkin and its benefits for future generations. We want a river that allows for safe drinking water, recreational opportunities and good green jobs, and we can obtain these goals if the powers that be endorse this Trust.”
About N.C. Water Rights Committee:
The N.C. Water Rights Committee is a coalition of North Carolina businesses and concerned citizens who have joined this statewide effort to inform citizens of the critical issues and decisions concerning water rights that affect all North Carolinians now and for many decades to come. For more information, visit www.ncwaterrights.org.
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