Claims by the Yadkin Riverkeeper, Fletcher Hartsell, and Roger Dick that the State owns the submerged riverbed of the Yadkin Project have been chewed over ever since they first learned of the PPL Montana v. Montana lawsuit. The unanimous Supreme Court decision in that case didn't go the way they had hoped, but that did not diminish their zeal. Finally, today, the NC Department of Administration made their claim in a suit filed in Wake County Superior Court.
Kevin Anton, Alcoa’s chief sustainability officer, issued this statement in response to the lawsuit:
“We believe this filing is flat-out wrong. Ownership of submerged lands is a question of federal law and we will immediately begin the legal process to move it to federal court. This ownership has already been decided by Supreme Court in a 9-0 decision in 2012 (Montana PPL v Montana). APGI is confident in its ownership position and that it will be firmly established in court. Despite making ourselves available to the Governor, we are disappointed that we didn’t have the opportunity to discuss this more fully with him before filing this suit.”
As a corollary, the State's Division of Water Resources, in light of the lawsuit, denied APGI's application for a 401 Water Quality Certificate. APGI would have to reapply (for the fourth time!), although DENR promises expedited handling.
Article in the Salisbury Post: http://www.salisburypost.com/article/20130802/SP01/130809920/1016
Article in the SNAP: http://its.enr.state.nc.us/laserfiche8/index.aspx?db=NCDWQ#id%3D198...