180 U.S. 208 (1901), 6, Missouri v. Illinois and Sanitary District of Chicago

Docket Nº:No. 6 Original
Citation:180 U.S. 208, 21 S.Ct. 331, 45 L.Ed. 497
Party Name:Missouri v. Illinois and Sanitary District of Chicago
Case Date:January 28, 1901
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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180 U.S. 208 (1901)

21 S.Ct. 331, 45 L.Ed. 497

Missouri

v.

Illinois and Sanitary District of Chicago

No. 6 Original

United States Supreme Court

January 28, 1901

Argued November 12-13, 1900

ORIGINAL

Syllabus

This suit was brought by the State of Missouri against the State of Illinois and the Sanitary District of Chicago. The latter is alleged to be

a public corporation organized under the laws of the Illinois and located in part in the City of Chicago, and in the County of Cook, in the State of Illinois, and a citizen of the Illinois.

The remedy sought for is an injunction restraining the defendants from receiving or permitting any sewage to be received or discharged into the artificial channel or drain constructed by the Sanitary District under authority derived from the State of Illinois in order to carry off and eventually discharge into the Mississippi the sewage of Chicago, which had been previously discharged into Lake Michigan, and from permitting the same to flow through said channel or drain into the Des Plaines River, and thence by the River Illinois into the Mississippi. The bill alleged that the nature of the injury complained of was such that an adequate remedy could only be found in this Court at the suit of the State of Missouri. The object of the bill was to subject this public work to judicial supervision upon the allegation that the method of its construction and maintenance will create a continuing nuisance, dangerous to the health of a neighboring state and its inhabitants, and the bill charged that the acts of the defendants, if not restrained, would result in the transportation, by artificial means, and through an unnatural channel, of large quantities of undefecated sewage daily, and of accumulated deposits in the harbor of Chicago and in the bed of the Illinois River, which will poison the water supply of the inhabitants of Missouri and injuriously affect that portion of the bed or soil of the Mississippi River which lies within its territory. The bill did not assail the drainage canal as an unlawful structure, nor aim to prevent its use as a waterway, but it sought relief against the pouring of sewage and filth through it by artificial arrangements into the Mississippi River, to the detriment of the Missouri and its inhabitants. The defendants demurred to the bill for want of jurisdiction and for reasons set forth in the demurrer. This Court held that the demurrer could not be sustained, and required the defendants to appear and answer.

In January, 1900, the State of Missouri filed in this Court a bill of complaint against the State of Illinois and the Sanitary

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District of Chicago, a corporation of the latter state, in the following terms:

The complainant, the State of Missouri and one of the states of the [21 S.Ct. 332] United States, brings this its bill of complaint against the State of Illinois, United States, and the Sanitary District of Chicago, a public corporation organized under the laws of the State of Illinois and located in part in the City of Chicago and in the County of Cook in said State of Illinois, and a citizen of the State of Illinois.

And your orator complains and says that it is a state containing a population of upwards of three millions of people, and lying on the west bank of the Mississippi River, a public, navigable, and running stream, and having a frontage on said stream of over 400 miles.

And your orator shows that, by the act of Congress providing for the organization and admission of Illinois and Missouri as states of the Union, it was declared that the western boundary of Illinois and the eastern boundary of Missouri should be the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; that the shores of the Mississippi River, where its waters form the Missouri and Illinois boundary, and the soil under the waters thereof, were not granted by the Constitution of the United States, but were reserved to the States of Illinois and Missouri, respectively.

And your orator shows that the States of Missouri and Illinois each have concurrent general jurisdiction over the waters of the Mississippi River forming the boundary between them, and each of said states has exclusive territorial jurisdiction over that portion adjacent to its own shore, and your orator shows that the Illinois River empties into the Mississippi River at a point above the City of St. Louis on the Illinois side of said Mississippi River.

And your orator further shows that, within the Territory of your orator and on the banks and shores of said Mississippi River and below the mouth of the Illinois River are many cities and towns in the State of Missouri, and many thousands of persons who are compelled to and do rely upon the waters of said river in their regular, natural, and accustomed flow for their daily

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necessary supply of water for drinking and all other domestic and agricultural and manufacturing purposes, and for watering stock and animals of all kinds, and that said Mississippi River has been flowing in its regular course and has been used for the purposes aforesaid by the inhabitants of the said State of Missouri for a time whereof the memory of a man runneth not to the contrary, and that said river and its waters and the use thereof for drinking, agricultural, and manufacturing purposes in their accustomed and natural flow are indispensable to the life and health and business of many thousands of the inhabitants of the State of Missouri, and of great value to your orator as a state.

And your orator shows that cities and towns below the mouth of said Illinois River, within the Territory of your orator, do and are compelled, by means of waterworks, water towers, and intakes built and constructed for that purpose to supply the inhabitants of said cities and towns with an adequate supply of pure and wholesome water fit and healthful for drinking and all other domestic purposes and uses from the said Mississippi River so flowing in its ancient, accustomed, and natural course.

And your orator shows that said waterworks systems are constructed with reference to said Mississippi River and for the purpose of taking water therefrom, and not from any other source.

And your orator shows that heretofore, to-wit, in 1889, the State of Illinois enacted a law known as the Sanitary District Act, together with an act for the improvement of the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers, and that, under said act of said state, the said corporation known as the said Sanitary District of Chicago was organized and is now existing and operating, and that, by the express terms of said act, any canal or drain corporation organized in accordance with its provisions may have conditions, restrictions, or additional requirements placed in said corporation, or the act authorizing the creation of said corporation may be amended or repealed, and that, by the express provisions of said act, before any water or sewage shall be admitted into any channel constructed under said act, the trustees of said channel shall notify the Governor of Illinois

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of the completion of said channel, and the Governor of Illinois shall appoint three commissioners to examine said canal or channel, and report to the Governor if the same complies with the act of the State of Illinois, and if it does, the Governor shall authorize the water and sewage to be turned into said channel, and that, without the said permit, it cannot be so turned in, and that, by the general provisions of said act, said channel is at all times subject to the control and supervision of the State of Illinois and her authorities.

And your orator further shows that the Chicago River is situated in the basin of Lake Michigan, and has two forks or branches flowing through the City of Chicago and into Lake Michigan, and that the natural drainage of Chicago, Illinois, is into Lake Michigan, and the sewage and drainage of the territory embraced in the defendant's district, the Sanitary District of Chicago, is led into or flows into the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

And your orator further shows that the defendant herein, the Sanitary District of Chicago, with the authority of the State of Illinois, and acting as a governmental agency of said state and under the supervision and control and subject to the approval of the State of Illinois, has constructed a channel or open drain from the west fork of the south branch of the Chicago River, in the City of Chicago and County of Cook, in the State of Illinois, to a point near Lockport, in the County of Will in said state, where said channel or drain connects with and empties into the Des Plaines River, which empties into the Illinois River, and which latter river flows and empties into the Mississippi River at a point distant about forty-three miles above the City of St. Louis, Missouri.

And your orator further states that the channel built by the Sanitary District of [21 S.Ct. 333] Chicago was so built by said sanitary district as one of the governmental agencies of the State of Illinois, and by the pretended lawful authority of said state, and under the direction, supervision, and control and governmental power of the State of Illinois, and which said state has heretofore at all times sanctioned, and now, through its Governor and other officers, sanctions, the building of said channel and opening thereof.

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And your orator further shows that in the construction of said channel or drain the defendant, the Sanitary District of Chicago, Illinois, with the sanction and approval of the State of Illinois, cut through the natural bridge or watershed which divides the basin of Lake Michigan from the basins of the Des Plaines and Illinois Rivers and the basin of the Mississippi River, and that, having so constructed said channel, and having about completed the same, and...

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