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State Water Control Bd. v. Hoffman

Citation: 7 ELR 20219
No. No. 75-0137, 427 F. Supp. 585/(W.D. Va., 01/11/1977)

The Army Corps of Engineers' power to require permits for construction in navigable waters under §§ 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 extends to Smith Mountain Lake, an artificial impoundment on the Roanoke River. The history of actual use of the river at Smith Mountain prior to the impoundment and the hydrological evidence of present navigational capability establish that the river was and is a navigable water of the United States. The lake itself is thus a navigable water of the United States as well, since the navigability of the inundated portion of the river is not altered by construction of the dam. The court concludes that the Corps' jurisdiction over Smith Mountain Lake is not limited by § 154 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1976 because the lake was created as a federal power project under the Federal Power Act, and the federal interest in the lake is thus substantial. The Corps' institution of a construction permit program for the lake was therefore legally proper.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Andrew P. Miller, Attorney General; James E. Kulp, Deputy Attorney General; David E. Evans, Ass't Attorney General
Supreme Court Building, 1101 E. Broad St., Richmond VA 23219
(804) 786-2071

Counsel for Defendants
Samuel G. Wilson, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1709, Roanoke VA 24008
(703) 982-6250