Alcoa withdraws water quality certificate request

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alcoa Power Generating Inc. has voluntarily withdrawn its application for a water quality certificate for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project in response to a request from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The move will temporarily delay the relicensing of the Yadkin Project to provide the N.C. Division of Water Quality additional time to review the new application.
“We decided that withdrawing our application and reapplying was the right thing to do,” Gene Ellis, APGI licensing and property manager, said in a press release.
“The additional time will ensure that all factors have been appropriately considered before a new water quality certificate is issued.”
APGI originally submitted its application for a water quality certificate May 10, 2007, and the N.C. Division of Water Quality issued a water quality certificate for the Yadkin Project Nov. 17.
That certificate was revoked last month when it was discovered that a required legal notice was not published in the newspaper.
State officials published the required public notice and accepted public comments for a 15-day period ending May 2.
Federal laws require the state to act on APGI’s application within a year รณ by May 9. That deadline provided little time for state officials to address the public comments it received this month, prompting the request for APGI to withdraw and resubmit its application.
“We expect the state to conduct a timely review of our new application and issue a new water quality certificate within the next several months,” Ellis said. “We do not believe the additional public comments provided to the state include any new, relevant information regarding the discharges from the Yadkin Project.”
APGI is operating the Yadkin Project under a temporary license; the original 50-year license expired on April 30. The temporary license mirrors the conditions of APGI’s original license and will remain in effect until a new long-term license for the Yadkin Project takes effect.