Two things happened on August 2, 2013. First, the State of NC filed a lawsuit claiming ownership of Alcoa’s section of the Yadkin riverbed. Secondly, the State Division of Water Resources (DWR) denied Alcoa’s application for a 401 water quality permit, based solely on the filing of the riverbed lawsuit.
Previously, DWR’s Hearing Officer had recommended issuance of the permit, and a draft permit had been prepared.
The 401 water quality permit is the last requirement Alcoa must meet in order to submit a complete relicensing application to FERC. As such, it has been the battleground for the “stop Alcoa” clique.
Alcoa appealed the denial of the permit, and last week Administrative Law Judge Selina Brooks granted APGI’s motion to overturn the denial of its application for a 401 water quality certificate for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project and ordered the state to review APGI’s application "as expeditiously as possible” and issue a decision within 30 days.
In the order, Judge Brooks stated that “there appears to be no factual dispute that [APGI] satisfied the substantive requirements for issuance of a water quality certification.” She ruled that the decision to deny APGI’s application was an arbitrary and capricious decision that resulted in “manifest unfairness” to APGI, and that DWR exceeded its authority by admittedly basing the denial on a dispute over ownership of the riverbed beneath the hydroelectric project rather than on water quality issues.
On April 22nd, a federal judge ruled that Alcoa’s section of the Yadkin Riverbed was not navigable at statehood, a requirement for the State to have any claim to ownership.
Neither of the State’s August 2nd 2013 actions stood up in court. It’s time, actually way past time, for the state and the Roger Dick contingent to stop mounting frivolous obstacles to Alcoa’s relicensing and wasting taxpayers’ money.
Salisbury Post article: http://www.salisburypost.com/2015/06/02/judge-rules-in-favor-of-alc...