Case 60

Sequoyah v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 620 F.2d 1159 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 953 (1980).

Plaintiffs, Cherokee Indians, sought to enjoin completion of the Tellico Dam project in Tennessee, which would result in flooding of land that plaintiffs considered to be sacred. Plaintiffs alleged that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) had violated the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), among other laws. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss.

The Sixth Circuit affirmed, finding that relief under NHPA was foreclosed by a provision in the Energy and Water Development Appropriation Bill, Public Law No. 96-69, which authorized the Tellico Dam. That law stated that TVA was authorized to complete the dam notwithstanding any other law. The court read this as a clear congressional command that the dam could not be enjoined because of noncompliance with NHPA. 620 F.2d at 1161.

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