• 75°

Judge rules in favor of Alcoa, state must act in 30 days

An administrative law judge has ruled that the state of North Carolina must make a decision on Alcoa Power Generating’s request for a water quality certificate before the end of June.

In an ruling issued last week, Administrative Law Judge Selina Brooks reversed a decision by the Division of Water Resources to deny a water quality certificate, which is required in order for the company to renew its operating license. The Division of Water Resources denied Alcoa’s request for a permit in August 2013, shortly after the state filed a case in Wake County Superior Court. The case, brought by state government, questioned Alcoa’s ownership of the property beneath its dams.

In the order, Brooks said: “there appears to be no factual dispute that (Alcoa) satisfied the substantive requirements for issuance of a water quality certification.”

Alcoa Power Generating relicensing manager Ray Barham said the administrative judge’s ruling reflects what the company has always known.

“The Division of Water Resources had no legitimate grounds to deny our water quality certificate,” Barham said. “We urge the agency to follow its rules and act quickly to issue a water quality certificate for the Yadkin Project.”

Barham said the state’s denial wasn’t related to the water quality of the Yadkin River.

“We have a proven plan in place to improve water quality and ensure compliance with the state’s water quality standards,” he said.

The Yadkin Riverkeeper, however, has expressed concerns about river quality. Riverkeeper Will Scott specifically has concerns about Badin Works — a shuttered aluminum production facility in Stanly County.

“The hazardous waste site now sits mostly vacant, behind a high fence,” Scott said in a May email to the Salisbury Post. “Cyanide pollution continues to be discharged into Badin Lake and Mountain Creek to the present day.”

North Carolina must issue a water quality certificate before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can issue a long-term operating license to Alcoa. With the lawsuit between state government and Alcoa still pending, the company has been stalled in its efforts to renew its operating license.

Prior to Brooks’ ruling, a North Carolina Eastern District Judge ruled that boats couldn’t navigate the Yadkin River when North Carolina became a state.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

 

 

Comments

Local

Salisbury will make history with installation of marker commemorating 1906 lynchings

Local

More than 100 years later, family of World War I veteran receives medals, honors on his behalf

Local

Commissioners to schedule public hearing for Reaper’s Realm rezoning application

Coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths in county grow to 316 as Delta variant spreads

Local

David Freeze: More than expected from western heat

Business

Opening of State Employees’ Credit Union is the fulfillment of a vision for Mary Ponds, Granite Quarry

Local

Swimming: Salisbury native DeSorbo coaching in Olympics

Local

‘Mr. Robert’ retires after 24 years serving children

Lifestyle

Library’s summer reading clock winding down

College

Catawba athletics: Busy fall planned

Local

Community Care Clinic receives grant that will improve its diagnostic capabilities

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber unveils theme for Total Resource Campaign

Elections

Candidates for local, state races talk with voters at Sloan Park

Education

Summer institute teachers receive $5,000 stipends, eligible for more bonuses

Nation/World

Mask guidance divides parents heading into new school year

Nation/World

Frustration as Biden, Congress allow eviction ban to expire

Crime

Salisbury Police charge 33 during narcotics roundup

Local

Crews respond to fire at Rowan County Landfill

Nation/World

$1 trillion infrastructure plan clears Senate hurdle

College

College-bound North Carolina football player shot to death

Legion baseball

American Legion baseball: Rowan bounces back behind Schenck, reaches semifinals today

Education

Johnson C. Smith, Pfeiffer universities among latest to pay off student debts

Kannapolis

American Legion baseball: Kannapolis ends season

Business

Evictions looming as Congress refuses to extend ban that expires today