NC: Judges wrong on riverbed rights of original 13 US states

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is continuing its fight for a say in the operations and ownership of four hydroelectric dams, saying federal appeals judges were wrong about the riverbed rights of the 13 original U.S. states.

State attorneys this week asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, to reconsider the case, this time by all 17 judges instead of a three-judge panel. That panel ruled 2-1 earlier this month to reject North Carolina’s claim related to four Yadkin River dams built to power a now-closed Alcoa aluminum smelter.

State Attorney General Josh Stein’s office said Monday that since 1776, state law has governed ownership of waterways in North Carolina and the other original states. State lawyers say the judicial panel wrongly ruled that federal law governs the issue.