3/18/2009

SWEPCO Reports Potential Wetlands Impact to Corps of Engineers; Company will work with EPA, Corps to resolve issues

SHREVEPORT, La., March 18, 2009 – Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), has reported to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers potential impacts to wetlands under the jurisdiction of the Corps’ Vicksburg District at the construction site of the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant in Hempstead County, Ark.

SWEPCO reported the potential impacts on March 9 and met with Corps officials at the site on March 17. Following that visit, the Corps’ Vicksburg District directed SWEPCO to cease further work that would impact wetlands or waters under the Corps’ jurisdiction and informed SWEPCO that the Corps would refer the issue to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The potential impacts total approximately 2.5 acres, subject to further evaluation by the Corps.

“In our report and during the site visit, we explained to the Corps that the potential impacts were unintentional and occurred because of errors in mapping the approved wetland jurisdictional areas, which were marked for protection before conducting work at the site,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “Once we determined this mapping error had occurred, we began an immediate investigation, established broad no-work zones near any potential jurisdictional area, and immediately notified the District.”

The potential impacts occurred within areas that the District had proposed to authorize to be filled under the draft permit and included clearing, mulching, movement of topsoil or filling. All of the potentially impacted areas were outside the buffer zones established around the mapped and marked areas on the site. SWEPCO has already purchased wetland mitigation credits to more than offset all of the expected wetland impacts at the site as required by the Corps.

“While the Corps has determined and we believe these activities will have no significant environmental impact, we recognize this is a serious issue that requires full cooperation with the Corps and the EPA,” Chodak said. “We are prepared to provide additional mitigation or employ other remedial measures as recommended by the District and EPA. We are committed to environmental stewardship in all our operations and will work diligently to resolve this issue.”

While work can continue outside the jurisdictional areas on the site, the impact on the company’s construction schedule and workforce for the 600-megawatt power plant is being evaluated. Estimated completion date for the $1.6 billion facility is Oct. 1, 2012. Approximately 500 people have been working at the site.

SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power, serves 113,500 customers in Arkansas, along with 180,000 in Northwest Louisiana and 180,000 in East and North Texas for a total of more than 473,500. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La.  News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.swepco.com.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at www.aep.com.

This report made by AEP and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of generating capacity and the performance of AEP’s generating plants; AEP’s ability to recover regulatory assets and stranded costs in connection with deregulation; AEP’s ability to recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP’s ability to build or acquire generating capacity (including AEP’s ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new legislation, litigation and government regulation including requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances; new legislation, litigation and government regulation including requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions (including rate or other recovery for new investments, transmission service and environmental compliance); resolution of litigation (including pending Clean Air Act enforcement actions and disputes arising from the bankruptcy of Enron Corp. and related matters); AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; the economic climate and growth in AEP’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary and interest rate trends; AEP’s ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of debt; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the potential for new legislation in Ohio and membership in and integration into regional transmission organizations; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the performance of AEP’s pension and other postretirement benefit plans; prices for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Corporate Communications
Mike Young, 318-673-3458
Scott McCloud, 318-673-3532
Peter Main, 479-973-2526

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