Centralina Council Of Governments Adopts Resolution Opposing Private Ownership Of The Yadkin River

Published: Mon Apr 21 2008

Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) has publicly announced its support for North Carolina citizens and state officials who oppose Alcoa’s request to obtain a 50-year license to control, govern and sustain ownership of water flowing from the Yadkin River, one of the longest rivers in North Carolina. On Wednesday, April 9, at its Executive Board meeting, The Centralina Council of Governments voted unanimously to adopt a resolution opposing private ownership of the Yadkin River. The resolution supports the North Carolina Governor’s intervention and request to delay the application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by Alcoa for a 50-year license to control the waters of the Yadkin River and its lakes and tributaries.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

WHEREAS, the Centralina Council of Governments has numerous member governments located within the Yadkin-Pee Dee Watershed;

WHEREAS, almost one quarter of the citizens of our region depend on the availability of potable water from the Yadkin River;

WHEREAS, Yadkin Basin will continue to grow and our region is expected to double in population by 2030;

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina is currently experiencing the second extreme drought in a decade and this drought has detrimentally affected the citizens and business of our region;

WHEREAS, Aluminum Company of America ("Alcoa") holds a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") license which gives it control over the waters of the Yadkin River and its lakes and tributaries; and

WHEREAS, the current license held by Alcoa is set to expire in April of 2008 and Alcoa is currently applying to FERC to grant it another license which would give it control over the Yadkin River and its lakes and tributaries for the next 50 years; and

WHEREAS, the Council believes and understands that Alcoa has not adequately engaged the appropriate stakeholders in the region and has not adequately considered the expanding public needs in the Yadkin project area in its license renewal request;

WHEREAS, the citizens of the Centralina Region of North Carolina and their governments are the public stewards of the waters and natural resources of the State of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of our region and North Carolina are dependent upon their governments to act in their best interests and to prevent a multi-national corporation from taking and maintaining control of the water and natural resources on which they depend for basic needs and consistent therewith the governor of North Carolina has requested a delay in Alcoa’s FERC license.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Centralina Council of Governments respectfully supports the actions of Michael F. Easley, Governor of the State of North Carolina, for the foregoing reasons and for the benefit of the citizens of our region and North Carolina in requesting an extension of the FERC license for one year.

The resolution was signed by Joe D. Carpenter, Chairman of the Centralina Council of Governments, and Barbara R. Blackwell, Clerk to the Board. The Executive Board includes: Chairman Joe D. Carpenter, Vice Chairman Robert Misenheimer, Secretary Frank Deese, Treasurer Marie Moore, and more than 15 representatives of the greater Charlotte area counties. The April 9 meeting took place at the Centralina office, located at 1300 Baxter St. in Charlotte, N.C.

"We are pleased that the Centralina Council of Governments has come forward to show its support for this resolution," said Stanly County Commissioner Lindsey Dunevant. "Government leaders state-wide are acknowledging the importance of this issue and the potential effects it could have on all of North Carolina. We hope that as more citizens become educated on this matter, support will continue to grow in favor of protecting the State’s access to this essential natural resource."

Related Links:
www.mmimarketing.com/podcast/North+Carolina+Water+Policy www.mmimarketing.com/podcast/North+Carolina+Water+Policy+part+II

About the Centralina Council of Governments:
The Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) is the state-designated lead regional organization for the area in and around Charlotte. It serves as a conduit of grants, a staff resource for members, and a forum for local governments to address current problems and future needs. Centralina was formed in 1968 and is one of seventeen North Carolina COGs. Centralina COG provides a variety of services for their region, providing local and regional planning and technical services to its local government members in the areas of: community development, land use, zoning, water and solid waste, GIS mapping, personnel, management, and criminal justice. The CCOG staff administers state and federal grants including aging, workforce development, and economic development programs. For more information, visit www.centralina.org.

About This Effort:
In 1958, Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, secured a federal hydroelectric license for the Yadkin Project on the Yadkin River in Stanly, Davidson, Montgomery and Rowan Counties in the Central Piedmont. In return, Alcoa promised aluminum manufacturing jobs for Stanly County for years to come. Alcoa has now essentially disappeared as a major employer in the region and shut down its manufacturing plants, but it wants to continue reaping the benefits of the Yadkin River after its license expires in April of this year. In addition, Alcoa discharged hazardous pollutants into North Carolina air and waterways for decades while harvesting immense profits from the Yadkin River, but has yet to finish cleaning up that contamination. It has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to obtain another 50-year license. If Alcoa is successful, one of North Carolina’s most valuable water resources will be used to maximize Alcoa’s profits, instead of being used to benefit the people of North Carolina, who themselves are in dire need of affordable electricity, local economic development, and clean, adequate drinking water.

Patty Briguglio
MMI Associates, Inc.
(919) 233-6600
PR Firms Raleigh, NC

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