Water, contract in Alcoa update

In addition to an update on general operations, Alcoa discussed water issues with the Community Advisory Panel to Alcoa (Rockdale Operations) last month in Blue, according to Diane Sheridan, facilitator.

Members and neighbors learned there have been no recordable injuries and no cases of environmental noncompliance in 2010.

The atomizer continues to operate, with strong demand for both the fine aluminum powder used in the auto industry and the coarser powder used in the chemical industry.

There are no plans at this time to restart the smelter, but it continues to be maintained with permits kept up to date so it will be ready to start up if economic conditions make doing so profitable.

Negotiation of a master agreement between the United Steelworkers and 10 Alcoa plants, including Rockdale, may be tracked at www.Alcoanegotiations. com when negotiations begin for the labor contract that expires May 31.

Water update

Community member interest remains high for the future use of ground water under the former Sandow Mine and surface water to which Alcoa has rights.

Members heard that the Rockdale plant has been approached by individuals and entities interested in property purchase as well as water marketers.

No deals have been concluded other than the existing contract with Manville Water Supply. The depressurization used during active mining at Sandow (1987- 2005) has concluded now that active mining has ended. Alcoa now has an historic use permit for the water that is used at the facility.

Community members learned that factors to be considered as decisions are made including using surface water and ground water conjunctively, avoiding severance of water rights from property ownership, and consistency with regional water plans.

Also receiving attention will be comments provided by CAPARO in August 2006 that address these and other issues.

CAPARO meets again on September 13. Details will be publicized closer to that date. For more information, contact Sheridan at 800/484-9212 x 4127 or at

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