In North Carolina v. Tennessee Valley Authority (PDF:287KB), a case concerning claims of cross-border pollution, a Federal District Court determined that emissions from TVA`s facilities created a pollution-based public nuisance affecting North Carolina. Rather than sending the plaintiff on its way to seek relief through a regulatory or legislative remedy, the court ordered TVA to abate the pollution from four of its facilities within 100 miles of North Carolina. In doing so the court applied North Carolina law to TVA`s permitted facilities, none of which are located in North Carolina. The case cuts against established legal precedent that governmentally-authorized activities (such as permitted emissions) are deemed reasonable – and reasonable behavior cannot create a public nuisance.

In his blog on NuisanceLaw.com, Rick Faulk discusses the North Carolina decision and its place in emerging trends of public nuisance litigation