401 Water Quality Certificate

Alcoa-Yadkin submitted a new application (User Name: Public, Password: Password) for a 401 water quality certificate to the NC Division of Water Quality on September 28, 2012. The company must receive a water quality certificate from the state as part of the FERC relicensing process.


As part of the application, Alcoa-Yadkin has committed to invest approximately $80 million once it receives a new license to continue improving water quality in the Yadkin River. The investments include technology to further improve dissolved oxygen levels, a key measure of water quality, in the water below the dams.


Alcoa regularly monitors dissolved oxygen levels. Recent data shows that water quality at the Yadkin Project has improved dramatically since the company invested more than $5 million in turbine upgrades and other enhancements at the Narrows Dam to increase the amount of oxygen in the water.


Dissolved Oxygen Levels Improve As Water Flows Through the Yadkin Project

Due to upstream conditions, water enters the Yadkin Project at High Rock Lake with low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. After traveling 38 miles down the Yadkin River and passing through four dams operated by APGI, the water quality improves significantly before it is discharged at the Falls Dam.


Read the 2012 Dissolved Oxygen Report


“There should be no doubt that we will meet the state’s water quality standards. The technology we have implemented has been effective and gives us full confidence that our technology will continue to improve dissolved oxygen conditions at the Yadkin Project.”


— Kevin Anton, Alcoa’s Chief Sustainability Officer