Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. Hudson River-Black River Regulating Dist., No. 10-4402 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
National Grid challenged the constitutional and statutory authority of the District, a New York public benefit corporation, to assess it for benefits that its property along the Hudson River received from a dam and reservoir that the District operated. National Grid argued that the District's assessment and apportionment scheme was federally preempted by the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 803(f), 821, and that even if the assessment authority existed, all assessments made prior to 2010 violated National Grid's protection rights under the U.S. Constitution and constituted impermissible takings under the U.S. and New York State constitutions. Because the FPA did not preempt the District's authority under New York state law to assess National Grid as it did here, the court affirmed the district court's judgment as to federal preemption. The court further found that National Grid had abandoned its appeal of the district court's dismissal of the DEC from this action, and in any event, that the district court's dismissal of the DEC was proper. However, because the court concluded that abstention was not warranted as to National Grid's remaining constitutional claims, the court remanded those claims to the district court for resolution, expressing no view on their merits.