by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The N.C. Supreme Court has refused to address a unanimous 2011 N.C. Court of Appeals decision against Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority in a dispute over the impact of the Randleman Dam.
The state’s highest court had agreed to take the case and heard arguments in October, but justices announced today that their discretionary review of the appellate court ruling had been “improvidently allowed.” That means the Appeals Court ruling stands.
A three-judge appellate panel had agreed unanimously with the trial judge that the water authority’s construction of the Randleman Dam had reduced water flow for operators of hydroelectric power plants on the Deep River. Because of the loss of “riparian rights,” the court ruled, the hydroelectric power plant operators are owed compensation.