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-- June 9. 1974 Sunday Gazette-Mail Charleifon, West Virginia ---BLUE RIDGE Speaker Ted Di'.Uoss, Chattanooga, Tenn. insurance executive and past inernational chairman uf the Christian Business Men's; Commil- 'tees, will speak at this year's Appalachian Regional Retreat scheduled for next Friday and Saturday at the Appalachian Bible Institute in Bradley. A number of Charleston area business and professional men will also participate in the program. Thinks New River Site Great for Hydroelectric Dam By Skip Johnson Appalachian Power Co. officials believe the site they have chosen on New River for the Blue Ridge Project is one of the last great sites available in the c o u n t r y for a pumped storage and hydroelectric dam. The desirability of the site, from the power company's standpoint, is the reason Appalachian has stood firm in its desire to build Blue Ridge, despite almost 10 years of haggling over the project. But the attractiveness of New River as a recreational stream, along with a natural resistance on the part of people who are losing homes and land, have turned powerful forces against the project. FOR A TIME earlier this year, it appeared that licensing of Blue Ridge by the Federal Power Commission (FPC) was imminent, but opponents weren't finished. Three bills have been introduced in Congress that would include sections of New River for study for possible inclusion in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and one of them has already passed the Senate by a 49-1S vote. The House interior and insular affairs subcommittee is studying a similar bill, and all the seemingly-buried opposition to Blue Ridge resurfaced at hearings held last week in Washington. "New River's life is on the line," said Rep. Ken Hechler, D-W. Va., who has introduced a bill of his own that would designate the gorge area of the river in West Virginia as part of the scenic river study. The other bills deal with the sections of the river which would be flooded by the project, and are open attempts to block it. Their sponsors make no secret of this fact. Hechler, too, is an ardent opponent of Blue Ridge. * * * OTHER WEST Virginians who testified for scenic river study for New River were Jon Dragan of Thurmond, president of Wildwater Expeditions Unlimited, and Jerry Kirk of Hinton, president of the Three Rivers Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. Dragan, whose raft trips down New River have become quite popular, said he favors scenic rivers status for the stream regardless of the Blue Ridge Project. Kirk fears that, despite assurances to the contrary, water stored behind Blue Ridge may someday be used to flush out pollution in the industrialized Kanawha Valley. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled against such usage, but Kirk contends this policy could be changed. The official West Virginia position on Blue Ridge is to favor the project. State Atty. Gen. Chauncey Browning and his environmental head, Deputy Atty. Gen. Frank Ellison, f o u g h t for and obtained changes in Blue Ridge that Ellison believes will enhance recreational and fishing values on New River in West Virginia by guaranteeing a minimum daily flow of 2,500 cfs. American Electric Power System (AEP), parent company of Appalachian, insists that no compelling reason exists for Congress to wrest Blue Ridge from the jurisdiction of the FPC "at this very late stage." AEP vice-president and general counsel, A. Joseph Dowd asked Congress to leave the fate of Blue Ridge to the FPC and he further asked that it be judged "on the basis of the comprehensive record developed over a number of years." AEP contends that opponents of Blue Ridge have continued to swing wildly at the project with misrepresentations and outright untruths. For example, the giant utility denies that a pumped-storage hydro installation uses more energy than it creates. Were this the case, it insists, nobody would have much interest in the pumped-storage principle of power generation. Blue Ridge would provide "peaking generation" in that power-producing capability -water in an upper reservoir -would be stored and then released at peak demand periods. Electricty would be generated by discharging water from the upper reservoir into the lower reservoir, through turbines. Blue Ridge would be a combination pumped-storage and hydro facility, inasmuch as electricty would also be creat- ed by passing the natural flow of the river through turbines located in the twin dams. Dowd contended at last week's hearings that AEP ; s need for Blue Ridge has been fully explored and affirmed at previous FPC hearings, and that Blue Ridge isn't intended as a substitute for standard coal-fired generating plants, but rather as a necessary complement to such plants. * * * NORTH CAROLINA'S objection to Blue Ridge are based primarily on the fact that it would inundate a large amount of land and displace approximately 249 families of that state. Virginia, on the other hand, officially favors the project. "I am convinced this segment (of New River) does not satisfy the legal criteria for inclusion in the scenic river system," Atty. Gen. Andrew Miller said last week. Approximately 337 families in Virginia would be displaced by the project.' Among the powerful opponents of Blue Ridge, in addition to congressmen, are EPA and the Department of Interior. The latter originally favored the project -- and even asked that it be enlarged to include additional water storage capacity -- but has done a complete turnabout. Dr. Harold H.Kuhn wili close the practice of Orthopedic Surgery July 1,1974 Disposal Decision Disputed] ST. PAUL, Minn. ( A P ) Minnesota Gov. Wendell Anderson said Saturday the state would appeal the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals which stayed the closing ,fpr 70, days of the Reserve ^Mining Co. taconite plant at -Silver Bay, Minn. "Â·- Anderson said the state and ;the Minnesota Pollution Con- lirol Agency, both plaintiffs in Â·the Reserve case, would seek ".a review this week of the decision of the three-judge panel. He said the state would ask the full nine-member 8th Circuit Court to review the decision. If that review is rejected, the governor said, the decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. -Anderson also ordered the State Department of Natural Resources to supply Reserve with engineering data on an alternate disposal site for waste rock from its taconite processing plant. The governor said the data should be given to the mining company "at the earliest possible date." Along with the directive, Anderson said he favors an on- land disposal system some 42 miles inland from Lake Superior, where the taconite is processed at the Silver Bay plant. Â·Â· UNDER A 1947 permit from the U. S. Corps of Engineers, Reserve discharges up to 67,000 tons of waste rock daily into the lake. The states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan along with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the discharges. U.S. District Judge Miles Lord on April 20 ordered Reserve to close the plant, on the grounds there was an immediate health hazard. However, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that order two days later and Tuesday gave Reserve 25 days to come up with an alternate disposal plan. The appeals court rejected Judge Lord's findings that tiny asbestos fibers contained .;in the discharges represent an Â·immediate health hazard. .Lord said the fibers find their .way into municipal water supplies and may cause cancer. ^-However, the three-judge appeals panel said the discharges of tailings in Lake Superior were a "monumental mistake," and pointed to an on-land disposal system. "In order to assist the company in its planning, the state will make available to Reserve the preliminary engineer data provided by a consultant for a taconite tailings disposal pond at the Milepost 42 area on Reserve's railroad," the governor said. The area is about five miles southeast of the Reserve mine at Babbitt, Mini. , which produces the ore for the taconite plant at Silver bay. "We will also supply to Reserve the environmental study now being completed by DNR on the.effects of tailings dis- .posal in this area from the Â·proposed tailings basin," An- Â· ".derson added. I Â·Â· The governor said disposal f.ot tailings at the site near the . ;mine -- rather than closer to Â·;' -the plant as once proposed by -,Reserve -- will "minimize the '-perpetual maintenance and [health liability problems associated with waste disposal from Reserve's m i n i n g and processing operation." A spokesman for Reserve at Silver Bay said there would be no comment from the company on the governor's action. Naturalizer Adventure takes the ten day walk test! Adventure is a tender little shoe for really going places ... such a great look and a great feeling, too, thanks to soft crinkle patent on top and a specially molded crepe sole underneath. And with the Naturalizer 10-day walk test, it's comfort you can count on! 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