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Alcoa Again Under Fire From NC Lawmakers

Contamination and cleanup efforts at Alcoa's former smelter site in Badin would get closer scrutiny with a bill just introduced in the NC State Senate. Cabarrus Senator Fletcher Hartsell and Senator Stan Bingham of Davidson introduced SB 626 on Tuesday. The lawmakers tell the Winston Salem Journal they want the state to "catalog pollutants that have made their way into the area's ground and water and determine whether the Alcoa plant increased cancer rates among company employees or area residents." Read more here. Hartsell and Bingham are supporters of Governor Bev Perdue's effort to strip Alcoa of its hydropower license on the Yadkin River. The state is currently withholding a key water quality permit Alcoa needs before the federal government will grant a renewed license. Alcoa spokesman Mike Belwood tells the study is "unjustified. . . broadly drawn and anti-business." Read more of WFAE's coverage on the Alcoa/Yadkin River debate here.