US judge: Riverbed property rights next in Alcoa dams fight

April 23, 2015 6:38 PM

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A federal judge ruled this week that boats could not navigate North Carolina's second-largest river system at the time of American independence, a decision that helps Alcoa Inc. as it tries to prove it owns the riverbed on which some valuable hydroelectric dams were built.

Judge Terrence W. Boyle said late Wednesday that the 40-mile section of the Yadkin River where Alcoa Inc. operates four hydropower dams was not navigable at the time the United States was born. States took control of their navigable rivers when they joined the union, so Boyle's ruling is a setback t...

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