MPRB Files Legal Documentation Against Crown Hydro Eminent Domain Usage with FERC

A 32 page filing by Park Board legal counsel with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) arguing why Crown Hydro should not be allowed to use eminent domain to take property at Mill Ruins Park to build a hydropower plant. This includes much historical information about how the Park Board acquired the property initially, in particular pieces originally belonging to Fuji-Ya, Inc.

Some highlights:

“As explained more fully below, the Park Board acquired this property for park and/or recreational purposes prior to October 24, 1992. Therefore, the land cannot be taken by eminent domain under the FPA. Further, Crown Hydro voluntarily waived any right it might have to exercise eminent domain over this property in an agreement with the Park Board in 1998 to induce the Park Board to even consider Crown Hydro’s proposal.”

“Finally, were FERC to have any question about the inapplicability of the public park provision of §21 of the FPR or the waiver by Crown Hydro to forego the use of eminent domain because of some Alice in Wonderland argument that in the future could be proffered by Crown Hydro, FERC should not doubt the Park Board’s resolve to protect land it owns from unwanted use or encroachments. The central purpose of the Park Board is to control, govern and administer the land it holds for its citizens and the larger public interest. The Park Board will not willingly cede that authority and responsibility to any governmental or private entity.”

“In conclusion, it is the Park Board’s position that any attempt by Crown Hydro to secure the Park Board’s property by eminent domain is contrary to law. The Park Board therefore requests that FERC deny any further requests for extensions from Crown Hydro which concern Crown Hydro taking Park Board land.”