Case 8

Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, 354 F.2d 608 (2d Cir. 1965), dismissed, 453 F.2d 463 (2d Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 407 U.S. 926 (1972).

In 1965, the Federal Power Commission (FPC) granted a license to a utility company to construct and operate a powerhouse project on the Hudson River at Storm King Mountain, an area of historic significance. Plaintiffs challenged this license. The Second Circuit, noting that Section 10(a) of the Federal Power Act requires that all projects licensed by the FPC be adapted to serve beneficial public uses, including "recreational purposes," held in its first opinion that the term "recreational purposes" encompasses the preservation of historic sites. 354 F.2d at 617. The court remanded the matter to the agency to consider alternative plans in light of this factor. The FPC held further hearings on the project and issued a second decision in 1970 in favor of the license. Plaintiffs then moved to set aside this later decision.

The Second Circuit upheld the FPC's decision and dismissed the lawsuit. The court found no record of any event of historic significance in the area and no impact on the nearest areas of historic importance. 453 F.2d at 475. The court held that the FPC had adequately considered historic resources in its decisionmaking and that its decision to license the powerhouse was supported by substantial evidence. Id. at 476.

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