Relicensing Settlement Agreement
A formal Relicensing Settlement Agreement (RSA) for the Yadkin Project was submitted to FERC on May 7, 2007.
The agreement — signed by 23 stakeholders representing state and federal agencies, local governments, homeowners and recreational users, environmental interest groups and others — strikes a balance between many competing interests along the Yadkin River. As a result of the agreement, North Carolina will benefit from improved water quality, increased recreational opportunities and stronger environmental protections.
Some of the issues resolved by the Relicensing Settlement Agreement include:
- Water Quality
The Issue: How to improve water quality in the Yadkin River.
The Solution: In conjunction with a planned $240 million investment to upgrade and improve the efficiency of its power generators, Alcoa-Yadkin will install state-of-the-art aeration technology to increase dissolved oxygen levels and improve water quality in the Yadkin River.
- Water Use
The Issue: How to support recreational and environmental interests to keep water levels as high as possible, while providing adequate downstream flow releases to support downstream municipal and industrial uses in both North and South Carolina.
The Solution: Alcoa-Yadkin has committed to operational changes that will keep more water in High Rock Lake and provide a consistent flow of water to downstream water users.
- Drought Management
The Issue: How to protect water levels and maintain adequate downstream flows during drought conditions.
The Solution: Alcoa-Yadkin will implement a comprehensive drought management plan (known as the “Low Inflow Protocol”) that requires the company to reduce power generation and send less water downstream when certain drought-related triggers are reached.
- Shoreline Protection and Management
The Issue: How to protect and preserve parts of the shoreline in a natural, undeveloped state, while providing property owners with more flexibility regarding shoreline related development.
The Solution: Alcoa-Yadkin will revise its Shoreline Management Plan to provide greater flexibility regarding the construction of new piers and other issues, while ensuring development is conducted in an environmentally responsible manner.
Some of the benefits of the Relicensing Settlement Agreement include:
- Improved Water Quality: Alcoa-Yadkin will install state-of-the-art aeration technology to increase dissolved oxygen levels and improve water quality in the Yadkin River.
- Long-Term Land Protection: Alcoa-Yadkin will donate or make available for purchase more than 6,000 acres (roughly 40% of its land holdings) for recreation, game lands or conservation.
- Drought Protection: Alcoa-Yadkin will reduce generation and send less water downstream to help preserve reservoir water levels when drought conditions are present.
- Higher Water Levels and an Extended Recreation Season: Alcoa-Yadkin will extend the recreation season at High Rock Lake by three months — from April 1 to October 31 — and adjust its operations to keep more water in the lake.
- New Recreational Facilities: Alcoa-Yadkin will invest more than $1 million dollars in the development and maintenance of new or expanded public recreation facilities across the Yadkin Project, including a new public swim area in Rowan County, new tailwater fishing access areas, two new reservoir fishing piers and 10 new camp sites.
LOCAL COMMUNITY BENEFITS
- Expansion of Morrow Mountain State Park: Alcoa-Yadkin will donate more than 1,000 acres of land for the expansion of Morrow Mountain State Park in Stanly County.
- A New Waterfront Park in Badin: Alcoa-Yadkin will donate 14 acres to the Town of Badin for a new public park along the Badin Lake waterfront.
- More Water for Albemarle: The city will be allowed to increase water withdraws up to 30 million gallons per day, pending FERC approval. That is four times the amount of its current water consumption.
- Protection of Eagle Point Nature Preserve: Alcoa-Yadkin will donate 63 acres of land to Rowan County for the continued protection and public access to the Eagle Point Nature Preserve.
Relicensing Settlement Agreement Signatories
The following organizations have expressed support of a new license for APGI through their signatures on the formal Relicensing Settlement Agreement for the Yadkin Project.
Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (Alcoa-Yadkin)
Badin Lake Association
Badin Historic Museum
Catawba Indian Nation
City of Albemarle, NC
High Rock Business Owners Group
High Rock Lake Association
Land Trust for Central North Carolina
Montgomery County, NC
The Nature Conservancy (S.C. Chapter)
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources *
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Pee Dee River Coalition
Piedmont Boat Club
Rowan County, NC
Salisbury/Rowan Association of Realtors
S.C. Coastal Conservation League
S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control
S.C. Department of Natural Resources
Town of Badin, NC
U.S. Forest Service
Uwharrie Point Community Association
* Represents the N.C. Division of Water Quality and N.C. Division of Water Resources