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RALEIGH, N.C. (May 7) - The public has until July 3 to submit comments to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on two separate proposals requesting exclusionary zones around nine dams on the Catawba, Green and Yadkin rivers.

Duke Energy requested exclusionary zones for seven dams it owns on the Catawba and Green rivers, while Alcoa Generating requested exclusionary zones for two dams on the Yadkin River. These exclusionary zones would prohibit swimming, boating and fishing within 100 feet upstream or downstream of the dams.

According to Alcoa and Duke officials, exclusionary zones restricting dam access would enhance public safety because the often-turbulent waters surrounding the dams can be hazardous to boaters and swimmers. Sudden discharges from automatically operated turbines, locks and gates can cause waters to rise rapidly, creating turbulence.

People can register their comments on one or both proposals by visiting the Commission's Web site, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Submit written comments to: Proposed Exclusionary Zones, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC., 27699-1701.

Two public hearings asking for comments on the proposed exclusionary zones were held on April 19 in Newton and April 26 in Concord. Comments from these hearings, along with the comments received until July 3, will be presented to the Commissioners at their July 11 meeting where they will vote on whether to adopt the proposal.

If approved, the exclusionary zones would take effect Sept. 1. For more information, call 919-707-0014.
 
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