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UNITED STATES V. VIRGINIA ELEC. & PWR. CO., 365 U. S. 624 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Virginia Elec. & Pwr. Co., 365 U.S. 624 (1961)

United States v. Virginia Electric & Power Co.

No. 49

Argued November 10, 1960

Decided April 3, 1961

365 U.S. 624


In connection with the construction of a dam and reservoir on a navigable river, the United States acquired by condemnation a flowage easement over a tract of fast land adjacent to one of its navigable tributaries. That tract included a smaller tract of fast land over which respondent owned a perpetual and exclusive flowage easement, which was destroyed by the Government's appropriation.


1. Respondent is entitled to compensation for the value of its easement which is not attributable to the flow of the stream but to the depreciative impact of the easement upon the nonriparian uses of the land. Pp. 365 U. S. 627-631.

2. The value of respondent's easement is the nonriparian value of the subservient land discounted by the improbability of the easement's exercise, and, in assessing this improbability, no weight should be given to the prospect of governmental appropriation. Pp. 365 U. S. 631-636.

270 F.2d 707, judgment vacated and cause remanded.

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