Stanly County Board Member Lindsey Dunevant Initiates Monthly Discussions Of Yadkin Project

From: MMI Associates, Inc.
Published: Thu Sep 11 2008

Lindsey Dunevant, a member of both the Stanly County Board of Commissioners and the N.C. Water Rights Committee, has initiated a monthly program on radio station 1010 AM WSPC to discuss the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project, its effect on Stanly’s water resources and other related topics. The station invited Dunevant as well as Gene Ellis, licensing and property manager with Alcoa Power Generating Inc. ("Alcoa"), to deliver separate arguments regarding the issues.

In his first presentation, Dunevant expressed how he and leaders across the state favor federal recapture with subsequent transfer to the state of North Carolina for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project. Dunevant argues that because Alcoa has exclusive hydroelectric operations on the upper Yadkin – and will maintain that exclusive status for another 50 years if FERC grants a license – it will allow Alcoa an unfair monopoly of North Carolina water rights for generations. This type of monopoly, according to Dunevant, would allow Alcoa to exploit one of the state’s largest natural resources and allow the multinational corporation to make considerable profits selling electricity outside the state. Another major concern echoed by Dunevant and Alcoa opponents is that Alcoa has failed to address environmental concerns from its operations in Stanly County.

Dunevant’s comments first aired on the Sept. 4 newscasts for WSPC and its sister station WZKY. They can be found on the WSPC Web site here: Listeners can contact WSPC to provide their reaction to the comments. Dunevant’s statements will be appearing once a month over WSPC for the foreseeable future.

Regarding the Project’s current status, the state’s Environmental Review Commission (ERC) will study and develop proposals this fall in connection with the federal relicensing proceeding, which will govern if Alcoa receives an exclusive license for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project, and report them by Feb. 1, 2009. At stake is an estimated $45 million in annual electric power revenue and water rights that Alcoa’s opponents across the state believe should be subject to the control for the people, not for the benefit of a private multinational corporation. The water rights to generate electricity over the next 50 years are conservatively valued in excess of $10 billion.

The Yadkin Hydroelectric Project has four hydroelectric stations, dams and reservoirs along a 38-mile stretch of the Yadkin River, one of the longest rivers in North Carolina and one of its greatest natural resources. The four water reservoirs are High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows and Falls. The Yadkin-Pee Dee Watershed as a whole includes 21 counties and contains 93 state municipalities.

"I am very pleased that our local radio station believes the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project and other water-related issues are so important that they merit several minutes of its airtime for both sides to present their beliefs," said Dunevant. "I urge anyone with any interest in the Yadkin River or Stanly County to take time and listen to WSPC or its Web site to hear what we have to say and why it is so important that we act now to preserve our natural resources and regain our state’s water rights."

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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 expired 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.

About the 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 state-wide 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

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

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