Navigating History: Mont. And State Riverbed Ownership

Law360, New York (April 2, 2012, 12:24 PM EDT) -- On Feb. 22, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, clarified the test for determining state ownership of riverbeds. The court reversed the Montana Supreme Court's order for PPL Montana LLC (PPL), a power company, to pay over $40 million in rent to the state.


At issue in PPL Montana LLC v. Montana is ownership of the riverbeds along three Montana rivers, where PPL has operated 10 hydroelectric dams but never paid the state for its use. PPL sued Montana in state court,...
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