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The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on Wednesday in favor of PPL Montana in a dispute with the State of Montana over who owns the riverbeds underneath dams on three Montana rivers.
The Montana Supreme Court had earlier ruled that PPL must pay the state $40 million in back rent for using the rivers to operate hydroelectric dams.
In its decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Montana justices, stating the the Montana Supreme Court was wrong to conclude that the state owns the riverbeds.As the litigation history of this case shows, Montana filed its claim for riverbed rent over a c
Text"David Hoffman, PPL Montana director of external affairs, says that PPL has appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Clark Fork, Missouri and Madison Rivers were not navigable at the time of statehood and therefore should not be managed by the state. "At the time Lewis and Clark attempted to navigate the Missouri River that is where their navigation ended at least at the point of the Great Falls because they spent nearly 30 days carrying boats around those falls," Hoffman says. However, the state and Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock will argue the rivers were navigable and the state has every right to the rivers."