Johnson’s Pond dam owner sues state over recent actions

This file photo shows Johnson's Pond. (WLNE)

COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) — The owner of the dam that establishes water levels for Johnson’s Pond in Coventry is suing the state over a new law and a recent cease and desist letter.

Soscia Holdings LLC. is suing the state over recent legal actions the state has taken against them.

“The order to cease and desist sent by DEM to Soscia regulates and interferes with the operation of the Flat River Reservoir Dam the control of which has been with its owners Quidnick and Soscia since the construction of the Dam and Johnson’s Pond shortly after the 1846 enactment granting Quidnick a franchise of the waters of the Pawtuxet River and with Soscia’s ability to determine the amount of water, if any, to be placed upon its submerged real property,” reads a portion of the lawsuit.

The suit further alleges that the state did not give Soscia Holdings ample time to respond to the letter issued by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Soscia is suing on claims of deprivation of rights of procedural and substantive due process, the takings clause, intentional interference with contractual relations and intentional interference with contractual rights.

The suit is seeking to attain compensatory and punitive damages, attorney and court fees and any other relief the court deems appropriate.

ABC 6 News has reached out to state officials for comment and a spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said they have not been officially served by Soscia Holdings LLC. and do not comment on pending litigation.

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