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When it Rains it Pours: Municipal and Govt. Liability Associated with Stormwater Events, Flooding, and Other Recent Water Developments

On May 23, 2013, Bill Brady and Drew Brought presented to the Colorado Special District Association on regulatory developments focused on clean water initiatives by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental agencies leading to major impacts on municipalities and local governments.  In addition, the presentation focused on a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court could have significant ramifications on governments.

In the case of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 511 (2012), the Court considered whether, and under what circumstances, temporary flooding induced by the government can constitute a taking of property. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation. The issue in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission case was whether or not temporary flooding caused by the United States Army Corps of Engineers constitutes a taking of private property. In analyzing this issue, the Court held that “government-induced flooding temporary in duration” can constitute a taking of property for which compensation may be owed to a landowner. The Court’s holding is all the more notable in that it rejected the notion that a takings claim can arise only from flooding that is “permanent or inevitably reoccurring.”

In this 45-minute Webinar, Bill Brady and Drew Brought with the Environmental Law Practice Group of Spencer Fane Britt and Browne LLP, helped participants to:

  • Identify trends in recent municipal and local government civil enforcement matters, including sweeping settlements with municipalities imposing significant monetary fines and requiring massive infrastructure upgrades to aging sewer systems
  • Learn about stormwater permitting developments, including a new emphasis on effluent guidelines, turbidity limits, and flow in stormwater permits; and
  • Understand the factors at play in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision concerning temporary flooding and regulatory takings.

Click here to view the presentation.