Alcoa launches fight-back for dam property rights

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Submitted: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 2:44am
Updated: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 2:45am By:

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Alcoa Inc. is pushing back against claims by North Carolina officials in a yearslong fight over control of the water and electricity coming from the state’s second-largest river system.

Alcoa said in court filings Wednesday it should be given the water quality certification it needs for a new federal operating license for the next 50 years.

State officials said in an August lawsuit that Alcoa has no ownership rights to the bed of the Yadkin River over which the company built four dams years ago. The federal lawsuit seeks a ruling that North Carolina has owned the river bottom since becoming a state after the American Revolution and now claims a stake in Alcoa’s four hydropower dams.

The state environment agency cited the lawsuit in rejecting the water quality certification.

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