North Carolina Expands Benefits with State Trust

The N.C. Water Rights Committee ( ) recently announced the release of the State Trust Concept, a document that outlines how the state of North Carolina can establish a Trust with respect to the ownership and management of the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project on behalf of North Carolina citizens.

This process will obtain and secure the license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the project currently held by Alcoa Power Generation, Inc. through FERC's current relicensing process and other available legal means.

The State Trust Concept will honor most aspects of the Relicensing Settlement Agreement (RSA) negotiated by public and private entities such as Alcoa in 2008, including a comprehensive drought management plan), water quality improvements for the Yadkin, and new and expanded public recreation facilities. However, the Trust will provide more benefits to North Carolina state residents than what the RSA and Alcoa have proposed. 

Alcoa has applied for a 50-year license for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project to continue to operate dams at High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows and Falls Reservoirs along the Yadkin River. If it is granted, Alcoa will have exclusive water rights to conduct hydroelectric operations on the upper Yadkin for 50 years and the opportunity to make millions in profits selling that electricity with little return for North Carolina.

However, if the Trust is adopted by state and federal officials now reviewing the license for the Project, the people of North Carolina would once again be in control of their water as the Trust would be answerable to the citizens. The Trust will cooperate fully with the governor on any and all drought emergencies throughout the state of North Carolina as well.

"The State Trust Concept goes far beyond anything Alcoa has proposed for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project," said Keith Crisco, president of the N.C. Water Rights Committee. "We want a river that allows for safe drinking water, recreational opportunities and good green jobs, and we can obtain these goals if the powers that be endorse this Trust."

The full text of the State Trust Concept is at