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By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Dillsboro Mayor Jean Hartbarger has retracted a letter that could have led to a legal squabble with Duke Power.

Hartbarger had signed a letter requesting that the N.C. Division of Water Quality hold a public hearing prior to re-issuing Duke Power water quality certifications for its dams on the Tuckasegee River. After Duke officials claimed that authoring the letter violated the rules of the original stakeholder agreement the town signed as part of the re-licensing process, Hartbarger asked for the letter back from the state.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s final decision on Duke Power’s relicensing applications for its Western North Carolina hydropower plants heavily favors the proposals developed by the utility in a multi-year stakeholder process.

When a room full of elected officials pleaded with a U.S. senator and a congressman last week to step into the fray over Duke Power’s plan to manage waterways in three western North Carolina counties, they were arguing for the regular folks who use these waterways but often don’t take part in politics. We hope those politicians were listening.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hones its final recommendations for the mitigation Duke Power should provide in exchange for using the region’s waterways to produce hydroelectric power, local officials are asking for one thing — more time.

Duke Power discounted accusations last week that a portion of the hydropower operation on the Oconaluftee River extends onto tribal land belonging to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is questioning whether Duke Power concealed the boundary of its hydropower operation on the Oconaluftee River to avoid sharing a portion of its profits with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing regarding the recently released draft environmental assessment of Duke Power’s hydroelectric projects on the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers held last Thursday (June 8) began quietly enough.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft environmental assessment recommending removal of the Dillsboro Dam has come out, concern has arisen over mitigation measures planned for the Tuckasegee River.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff have recommended removing the Dillsboro Dam and re-issuing Duke Energy licenses for each of its dams along the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers, according to a 402-page draft environmental assessment released May 10.

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