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Alcoa Encourages Safety Around Hydroelectric Facilities; New License Flow Releases on Cheoah River to Begin Sept. 1.

ALCOA, Tenn. -- Dams, power houses, and reservoirs are fundamental elements in the generation of hydroelectric power. For Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI), the four dams that comprise the Tapoco Project - Santeetlah, Cheoah, Calderwood, and Chilhowee are essential components of a system designed to generate the electricity needed for aluminum production.

Under a new license issued to APGI by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on January 25, 2005, base flow releases in the Cheoah River bypass are scheduled to begin September 1, with high flow releases occurring on September 17, October 1, and November 2. These releases are intended to improve aquatic habitat within the river.

"While Alcoa Power Generating cannot control the recreational activities on the river, it also recognizes the strong interest of private and commercial boaters in rafting the Cheoah. We do not encourage whitewater activities during high flow release periods," said Walt Brockway, Operations Manager of Hydroelectric Systems for APGI. "Water levels can fluctuate rapidly, and those swift changes can have a hazardous and unexpected affect on those who venture out on the river during such periods."

Whitewater activities on the Cheoah River will be approved and controlled by the United States Forest Service (USFS) pursuant to Special Use Permits issued by the USFS to commercial whitewater rafting organizations as early as the spring of 2006. Whitewater commercial outfitters should be prepared to produce their Special Use Permit to USFS representatives upon arrival. Permitted whitewater recreationalists should always exercise caution during flow releases, as conditions can rapidly change. Additionally, all recreationalists should obey any and all warning signs, fences, buoys, booms, and barriers.

Tapoco is a division of the APGI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) The Tapoco Division of APGI supplies electric power to Alcoa's Tennessee Operations, an aluminum smelting and rolling mill, located in Alcoa, Tennessee.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 25, 2005
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