Clean Water Act:

Private Property Takings Claims as a Result of the Section 404 Program

RCED-93-176FS: Published: Aug 11, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) private property takings claims filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the Clean Water Act; (2) the actual and potential liability of the federal government; and (3) federal agencies' costs in litigating those claims.

GAO found that: (1) plaintiffs have filed 28 takings claims with the Claims Court involving regulatory actions under the section 404 program as of May 1993; (2) the Court has resolved 3 cases in favor of the claimant, 10 cases in favor of the government, and settled one case; (3) the government has paid $1.7 million in settlements and is appealing the settlements in two other cases; (4) the government's potential liability in the 14 pending cases cannot be determined; (5) in 8 of the 14 cases, plaintiffs are seeking almost $140 million in just compensation and $162 million in interest; (6) the Department of Justice and the Army Corps of Engineers do not keep data on the government's litigation costs; and (7) litigation costs depend on whether a case is dismissed or results in a decision.

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