Public Law 111-378 and Payment of the Stormwater Charge

B-321685: Mar 14, 2011

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Julie Matta
(202) 512-4023


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

On September 29, 2010, GAO informed the Office of the Attorney General that GAO was constitutionally prohibited from using its appropriations to pay the stormwater charge assessed by the District of Columbia Department of the Environment (DDOE), because such charge is a tax. B-320795. Use of GAO's appropriations to pay the DDOE storm water charge had not been authorized by a legislated waiver of the sovereign immunity of the United States. Subsequent to GAO's letter, Congress enacted an amendment to the Clean Water Act to waive sovereign immunity for certain stormwater assessments. See Pub. L. No. 111-378, 124 Stat. 4128 (Jan. 4, 2011). GAO determined that, as a result, the DDOE stormwater charge is now payable by GAO without further legislative action.

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