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Hydro-Electric Power Project Getting Closer

August 5, 2008

Charleston, WV - A final permit is all that's needed for a major hydro power project to go ahead on the West Virginia-Ohio border. The Affiliated Construction Trades, Parkersburg-Marietta Building Trades Council and American Municipal Power have joined to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to give the needed approval soon to the $250 million Willow Island Hydro-Electric project. The hydropower dam, which will provide electricity to 80 municipalities in six states, is to be built on the Ohio River between West Virginia and Ohio.

Affiliated Construction Trades director Steve White says it's important the project get started sooner rather than later because of the huge payoff in clean and dependable energy, as well as economic benefits to the region.

"The jobs are needed for the local area and the developers clearly want to move forward. Of course, the developers are a group of municipalities in Ohio areas so they have a big investment in it. Time is money, and it's important that projects move to completion at some reasonable time."

Phil Meier, Assistant Vice-President of Hydro Development for American Municipal Power, says the equipment is being ordered now.

"We think this project will be good for the local economy, good for the jobs created, and will ultimately reduce the dependence on foreign oil for the nation. It's a good project all around for everybody involved."

David Law/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WV