12/3/1999

NJ JOINS OTHER NORTHEAST
STATES IN EFFORT TO AVOID
LOCAL CONTROLS, AEP SAYS

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 3, 1999 – A lawsuit announced today by New Jersey´s attorney general against power plants owned by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is another attempt by a Northeast state to avoid implementing potentially costly local emissions controls by blaming their air quality problems on sources in the Midwest, according to Dale Heydlauff, AEP´s vice president - environmental affairs.

"This is yet another example of a Northeast state trying to drop its air quality problems on our doorstep instead of adequately addressing the local sources creating the problems," Heydlauff said. "These states file legal complaints to avoid making what in reality is a difficult public policy decision on who bears the cost of their local air quality cleanup. By attempting to place the blame on distant sources, these public officials are delaying difficult decisions -- and local expense -- necessary to improve local air quality.

"The best scientific information on smog transport makes it clear that local emissions have to most impact on air quality," Heydlauff said. "Distant sources, like our power plants, do not have a significant impact on air quality in New Jersey. New Jersey and the other Northeast states will never meet air quality requirements until they properly address emissions from the hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks clogging the roads of this country´s most densely-populated areas. EPA data shows that transportation sources -- cars and trucks -- are responsible for the largest percentage of pollutants that create smog.

"As I said when New York and Connecticut announced a similar legal strategy, this action is totally without merit and we believe we will prevail should this lawsuit reach trial."

New Jersey claims certain projects -- some completed more than a decade ago -- were designed to increase the power plants´ generating capacity in violation of the Clean Air Act. Under the New Source Review requirements of the Clean Air Act, if a source undertakes a major modification that directly results in an emissions increase, it can trigger permitting requirements under the New Source Review program and may subject the source to the installation of additional pollution control technology.

This requirement is not applied to activities such as routine maintenance, replacement of degraded equipment or failed components, or other repairs needed for the reliable, safe and efficient operation of the power plant. AEP projects cited in the lawsuit fit this description, Heydlauff said. None resulted in an increase in generating capacity and many may have helped to lower emissions.

"The company´s activities are consistent with historic industry practices and past EPA guidance," Heydlauff said. "Our maintenance activities are no different than those conducted at power plants in New Jersey or any other state."

AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States´ largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

For More Information, Contact:
Pat D. Hemlepp
Manager, Media Relations
American Electric Power
614/223-1620

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