NC rejects water quality claim, sues over Alcoa’s riverbed property rights for 4 Yadkin dams

North Carolina officials are hitting Alcoa Inc. with two moves in a fight over who will control the water and electric power that comes from the state’s second-largest river system for the next 50 years.

On Friday afternoon, a state environment agency rejected a water quality certification Alcoa needs for relicensing of dams on the Yadkin River.

A state lawsuit filed earlier in the day contends Alcoa Inc. has no ownership rights to the riverbed over which the four dams were built beginning a century ago. The dams powered a Stanly County aluminum smelter that closed in 2007, and the company is selling the electricity to commercial customers.

Gov. Pat McCrory says the river should be used for North Carolina water needs and job creation.

An Alcoa statement says the state’s lawsuit is plain wrong and will take the case to federal court.

Read full story by Emery Delesio, AP Business Writer