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AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMPANIES JOIN NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its operating companies have joined three new, national environmental initiatives: American Forests' Global ReLeaf for Energy Conservation Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWi$e Program and the National Office Paper Recycling Project.
 "We're proud to add these programs to our already active environmental portfolio," said Dale E. Heydlauff, AEPSC vice president - environmental affairs. "They are visible, significant commitments that protect the environment, save energy and make good business sense."
 Global ReLeaf is a national education and action campaign of American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit conservation organization, founded in 1875.
 A utility-specific spinoff of Global ReLeaf focuses on urban tree planting to help customers conserve energy while achieving environmental benefits.
 To support Global ReLeaf for Energy Conservation, the AEP companies plan a public-information campaign that encourages customers to plant properly the right trees in the right places to conserve energy.
 "We're pleased that the AEP System has joined us in promoting the need to plan ahead, select species carefully, and place new trees with proper clearance for utility facilities," said Neil Sampson, executive vice president, American Forests.
 Research on the energy-saving benefits of trees and forests has been well established by American Forests and other sources. Three well- placed trees per house could reduce customers' annual cooling energy usage by 10 to 50 percent. Winter-heat cost savings from properly placed trees have been documented in the range of 4 to 22 percent.
 Earlier this year, U.S. EPA developed WasteWi$e, a voluntary program designed to assist businesses in taking cost-effective actions to minimize solid waste, recycle waste materials and purchase products having recycled content.
 To accept the WasteWi$e challenge, AEP will complete a short form each year that details the System's progress on waste-reduction initiatives in terms of waste prevented, recyclables collected and amount spent on recycled products.
 "EPA is pleased to have AEP as a charter member of WasteWi$e," said Linda Winn, program manager of U.S. EPA's WasteWi$e program. "We congratulate AEP and wish them success in achieving their WasteWi$e goals."
 Peter J. DeMaria, AEP's executive vice president, administration and chief accounting officer, said, "Through WasteWi$e, AEP gains an opportunity to protect the environment while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity."
 The third initiative that the AEP System recently joined, the National Office Paper Recycling Project, is a voluntary, non-binding program that encourages companies to recycle office paper, purchase recycled paper products and promote paper recycling to employees and external audiences.
 Managed under the auspices of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, this public/private partnership has the support of U.S. EPA. According to the Project, Americans toss away more than 71 million tons of paper a year, and only 15 percent of all office paper is recycled.
 "All AEP operating company general offices currently recycle office and other waste paper, and every company purchases some recycled paper stock, especially for publications," said Harry E. Vick, AEP's director of Administrative Services.
 AEP's main obligation under the program is to report its activities regarding the recycling of waste office paper and the purchase of recycled paper products.
 To meet that requirement, the operating companies will estimate the quantity and percentage of waste paper collected for recycling. They also will track the types of paper collected for recycling (such as high- grade office paper, computer paper, newsprint, corrugated cardboard, mixed paper and others).
 "With all 2,200 of AEP's facilities committed to a 30 percent collection rate, and an equally impressive buy-recycled rate," said Chris Denniston, director of the National Office Paper Recycling Project, "AEP successfully demonstrates how one company can make an extraordinary difference."
 AEP is the holding company of electric utilities serving seven million people in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Its operating companies are Appalachian Power, Columbus Southern Power, Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Kingsport Power, Ohio Power and Wheeling Power.
 -0- 4/18/94
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Backgrounders and camera-ready art available upon request/
 /CONTACT: Patricia E. Ingall of American Electric Power, 614-223-1679/
 (AEP)


CO: American Electric Power ST: Ohio IN: UTI ENV SU:

BM-TJ -- CL008 -- 7616 04/18/94 10:12 EDT
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Date:Apr 18, 1994
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