United States Fourth Circuit

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The State of North Carolina v. Alcoa Power Generating, Inc., 15-2225

In a suit against a power generation company, seeking a declaratory judgment that North Carolina owns a 45-mile segment of the riverbed of the Yadkin River in North Carolina that, over the past 100 years, defendant purportedly acquired by deed and developed, with the construction of four hydroelectric dams to supply electrical power to its aluminum smelting plant in Badin, North Carolina, the district court's conclusion, that the Yadkin River was not navigable at North Carolina's statehood so as to give it title to the riverbed as an aspect of sovereignty, is affirmed where the district court did not clearly err in its factual finding that the river was not navigable at statehood and did not err in concluding, as a matter of law, that defendant has good title to the riverbed.

Appellate Information

  • Argued
  • Submitted
  • Decided
  • Published 2017/04/03




  • United States Fourth Circuit


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