City of Salisbury, North Carolina v. FERC, No. 20-1238 (D.C. Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
The City of Salisbury, North Carolina relies on the Yankin River for its drinking water. The City constructed a pump station on the Yankin River, which the City believed was threatened by a plan proposed by the operator of a nearby hydroelectric damn and approved by FERC. The City challenged the plan and FERC's approval.
The D.C. Circuit dismissed the City's petition, finding that the proposed rule was within the license granted to the dam operator and was not arbitrary. The operator of the dam was required to implement a flood protection plan, including 1.) physical modifications to the facilities such as a protective dike for the pump station, 2.) improved access to the pump station with the road consistent with the City of Salisbury’s design or 3.) other feasible options for achieving the same benefits. The proposed plan meets the requirement of the flood protection plan. Additionally, the court determined that FERC's approval of the plan was not arbitrary.