II

The question whether the Corps of Engineers may demand that respondent obtain a permit before placing fill material on its property is primarily one of regulatory and statutory interpretation: we must determine whether respondent’s property is an "adjacent wetland" within the meaning of the applicable regulation, and, if so, whether the Corps’ jurisdiction over "navigable waters" gives it statutory authority to regulate discharges of fill material into such a wetland. In this connection, we first consider the Court of Appeals’ position that the Corps’ regulatory authority under the statute and its implementing regulations must be narrowly construed to avoid a taking without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

We have frequently suggested that governmental land-use regulation may under extreme circumstances amount to a "taking" of the affected property. See, e.g., Williamson County Regional Planning Comm’n v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985); Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104 (1978). We have never precisely defined those circumstances, see id., at 123-128; but our general approach was summed up in Agins v. Tiburon, 447 U.S. 255, 260 (1980), where we stated that the application of land-use regulations to a particular piece of property is a taking only "if the ordinance does not substantially advance legitimate state interests ... or denies an owner economically viable use of his land." Moreover, we have made it quite clear that the mere assertion of regulatory jurisdiction by a governmental body does not constitute a regulatory taking. See Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Assn., *127 101 452 U.S. 264, 293-297 (1981). The reasons are obvious. A requirement that a person obtain a permit before engaging in a certain use of his or her property does not itself "take" the property in any sense: after all, the very existence of a permit system implies that permission may be granted, leaving the landowner free to use the property as desired. Moreover, even if the permit is denied, there may be other viable uses available to the owner. Only when a permit is denied and the effect of the denial is to prevent "economically viable" use of the land in question can it be said that a taking has occurred.

If neither the imposition of the permit requirement itself nor the denial of a permit necessarily constitutes a taking, it follows that the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that a narrow reading of the Corps’ regulatory jurisdiction over wetlands was "necessary" to avoid "a serious taking problem." 729 F.2d, at 398. [FN4] We have held that, in general, "[e]quitable relief is not available to enjoin an alleged taking of private property for a public use, duly authorized by law, *128 when a suit for compensation can be brought against the sovereign subsequent to a taking." Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 U.S. 986, 1016 (1984) (footnote omitted). This maxim rests on the principle that so long as compensation is available for those whose property is in fact taken, the governmental action is not unconstitutional. Williamson County, supra, 473 U.S., at 194-195. For precisely the same reason, the possibility that the application of a regulatory program may in some instances result in the taking of individual pieces of property is no justification for the use of narrowing constructions to curtail the program if compensation will in any event be available in those cases where a taking has occurred. Under such circumstances, adoption of a narrowing construction does not constitute avoidance of a constitutional difficulty, cf. Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288, 341-356 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring); it merely frustrates permissible applications of a statute or regulation. [FN5] {Discussion Question} Because the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. 1491, which presumptively supplies a means of obtaining compensation for any taking that may occur through the operation of a federal statute, see Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., supra, 467 U.S., at 1017 is available to provide compensation for takings that may result from the Corps’ exercise of jurisdiction over wetlands, the Court of Appeals’ fears that application of the Corps’ permit program might result in a taking did not justify the court in adopting a *129 more limited view of the Corps’ authority than the terms of the relevant regulation might otherwise support. [FN6] {Discussion Question}


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