2/16/2007
SHORELINE PLAN CONSTRUCTION BAN REMAINS IN EFFECT WHILE FERC CONSIDERS MODIFICATION

ROANOKE, Va., February 16, 2007 – Appalachian Power has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to amend the existing license for the Smith Mountain Project to ease in-water construction restrictions. However, Appalachian reminds property owners and contractors that the current ban on in-water construction activities beginning every year on February 15 remains in effect for 2007 until a FERC order to the contrary is issued.
 
The ban applies to all in-water construction with the exception of pile driving and associated above-water dock construction activities at Smith Mountain and Leesville reservoirs.  “Pile driving” includes the removal of piles necessary for construction of associated facilities and is limited to pilings installed utilizing impact equipment. 
 
Prior to pilings being driven or removed between April 15th and June 15th, the work site is to be inspected for the presence of largemouth bass nests.  If a largemouth bass nest is detected where a proposed pile would be driven, the proposed pile shall be relocated to a nest free area or the work delayed until after June 15.  Prior to beginning pile driving activities during the period April 15 through June 15, Appalachian Power Company´s Rocky Mount Office (540-489-2556) must be contacted to verify that nests do not exist or that the work has been modified in order to avoid disturbing the nests.
 
The restrictions are part of the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) approved by FERC in 2005. At the request of Appalachian, FERC amended the plan in 2006 to liberalize construction limits while continuing to protect nesting habitats.
 
Appalachian Power Company filed on January 24, 2007 a request with FERC to amend the existing license for the Smith Mountain Project and further modify the current restrictions. In that request, the company requested that all time-of-year in-water construction restrictions be lifted as long as nesting area protections remain in place between April 15 and June 15.  The only exclusions would continue to ban all in-water construction within areas identified as “Conservation/Environmental” or “Impact Minimization Zone” by the Shoreline Management Plan.
 
FERC received public comments on the request until February 16.  FERC staff has assured Appalachian that it is diligently working to allow issuance of an order as soon as possible. Under federal requirements, the earliest date that FERC can issue a determination regarding the company´s request is February 23, 2007.
 
Until FERC issues its order, the ban on in-water construction activities as amended in 2006 remains in effect.
 
Property owners or contractors with questions regarding the ban on in-water construction activities and/or the status of the license amendment request may contact Appalachian Power at 540-489-2556. Appalachian’s SMP and the FERC order may be found on-line at www.smithmtn.com .
 
Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.  It is a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), the nation’s largest electricity generator.  AEP owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity and is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states.
 




John Shepelwich
Manager, State Corporate Communications
(540) 985-2968
jeshepelwich@AEP.com

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