Takings: Navigation Channel Closure Was Not A Taking

Monday, March 18, 2013 12:00 am
Land Use Law Report, Volume 41, Number 3

A New Orleans business that lost its ability to use its deep-draft vessel terminal after the federal government closed a navigation channel could not recover under a takings theory because it had no compensable property interest in deep-draft vessel access.

Facts: Lone Star Industries, Inc. (Lone Star) sued the United States after the government closed the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). Lone Star alleged that this closure effected both a physical and regulatory taking. The MRGO, which the government completed in the early 1960s, was a 76-mile navigation channel connecting New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico and providing an alternative ship route to the Mississippi River. The MRGO’s original depth was 36 feet, which accommodated "deep-draft vessels." However, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the MRGO’s depth became limited to 22 feet, and the cha[..]


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