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Federal Responses to International Conflict and Terrorism: Property Rights Issues

Description: This report reveals that based on case law to date, Takings Clause limits on federal response to international threats appear to be few, but most certainly do exist – chiefly when private property is impressed into military service not in the theater of actual war.
Date: October 6, 2004
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Pollution: Legal Perspectives on the “Routine Maintenance” Exception to New Source Review

Description: The report surveys the original legal landscape surrounding this exemption – in the contexts of determining applicability of New Source Performance Standards, and New Source Review in Prevention of Significant Deterioration and nonattainment areas. It then summarizes the many significant developments during the current Bush Administration, both in the Federal Register and in the courts.
Date: February 20, 2004
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

Description: If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Date: March 7, 1993
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Courts Rulings During 1994 on Constitutional Taking Claims Against the United States

Description: In 1994, the second session of the 103rd Congress saw the political pressure exerted by property rights bills ascend new heights. Members supporting property rights legislation sought to add such provisions to nearly every major environmental bill. Opponents, including several committee chairmen, therefore declined to move the bills, and gridlock resulted.
Date: July 19, 1995
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Property Rights" Bills Take a Process Approach: H.R. 992 and H.R. 1534

Description: In the 105th Congress, the property rights agenda has shifted from "compensation" to "process" bills. While the former would ease the standards for when property owners harmed by government action are compensated, the new approach simply streamlines how federal courts handle such claims. This report examines the three leading process bills -- H.R. 992, House-passed H.R. 1534, and Senate-reported H.R. 1534. The bills embody two process approaches: allowing property owners suing the United States to bring invalidation and compensation claims in the same court, and lowering abstention and ripeness barriers when suing local governments in federal court for property rights violations.
Date: June 24, 1998
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Innocent Landowners" and "Prospective Purchasers" in the Superfund Act

Description: The Superfund Act contains several devices that eliminate the liability or reduce the transaction costs normally incurred under the Act by persons that acquire contaminated land. This report focuses on three of them, two addressed in the recently enacted brownfields law (P.L. 107-118). The first device is the innocent-landowner defense, available to persons who acquire land after the hazardous substance is put there, and who (among other things) find no contamination before acquisition despite “all appropriate inquiry.” The second device allows use of innocent-landowner status as a basis for early de minimis settlement with EPA. The third exempts the “bona fide prospective purchaser” from “owner” and “operator” liability despite pre-acquisition awareness of contamination on the property, if certain conditions are met.
Date: March 6, 2002
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Description: This report deals solely with the liability provisions of S. 350, found in Title II of the bill. (The manager’s amendment does not concern these.) These provisions cover three types of innocent parties: (1) owners of properties contaminated from contiguous properties, (2) prospective purchasers, and (3) innocent landowners.
Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Description: Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment "Takings" Issues

Description: This report discusses the international conflict and property rights. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has raised the possibility of responses by the United States that impinge on private property, and, in turn, the possibility of claims under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause.
Date: December 5, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department