NC county may end Alcoa dam licensing fight

NC county officials plan to weigh ending legal fight that has stymied Alcoa dam licensing

Associated Press

ALBEMARLE, N.C. (AP) -- Officials in the North Carolina county that's home to a closed Alcoa Inc. aluminum smelter are weighing a deal that could remove a hurdle to the corporation renewing a license for dams that once powered the plant and now produce electricity for sale.

Stanley County commissioners meet on Monday to consider a deal that could end an Alcoa lawsuit squeezing officials for more information. Local officials could drop efforts to block a state water-quality certification the company needs to land a federal operating license for up to 50 more years.

The dams supplied power to an Alcoa plant that once employed nearly 1,000 in Stanly County. The smelter officially closed in 2010, but production ended years earlier.

Alcoa now sells the electricity generated by the dams and keeps any profits.

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