Alcoa Updates Advisory Group on Operations and Water
Alcoa discussed water issues with the Community Advisory Panel in April in Blue. Members 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 and the coarser powder.
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.
Community member interest remains high for the future use of groundwater 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 has an historic use permit for the water that is used.
Community members learned that factors to be considered as decisions are made include using surface water and ground water conjunctively, avoiding severance of water rights from property ownership, and consistency with regional water plans. CAPARO meets again on September 13. For more information contact CAP member Bob Lee at 979/542-3006.