Friday, December 12, 2014

Is Lake of the Ozarks A "Navigable Waterway"?

In a recent discussion, I argued that the authority of the U.S.Coast Guard on the Lake of the Ozarks is very limited (update - they do have full authority and jurisdiction see above link for the full story) since the lake has no commerce related transportation and therefore, by definition, is not "navigable", a key requirement for federal jurisdiction.  Although the U.S. Congress established the rules for defining such waterways, lurking in the language was the right for them to assign classifications to specific waterways on a case by case basis. Is it possible that Congress at some point designated the Lake of the Ozarks specifically as navigable waterway despite clearly meeting their own criteria that it is not?

A 2011 document discovered on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website seems to indicate an effort to re-classify the lake.

Navigable Or Not?