Federal Regulatory Authority
Over Lands Beneath Navigable Waters (2 of 5)
The Federal Navigational Servitude
- Because the federal government has the authority to regulate interstate
commerce, it has the authority to regulate waterways.
- This authority is dominant over state and private property interests in
navigable waters and the lands beneath.
- Federal authority that relies on the navigational servitude is limited
to activities related to maintaining and improving navigation.
Federal agencies have frequently made questionable assertions of the navigational
servitude. For example, they have invoked the servitude
- For the placement of structures on state submerged lands that have no
relation to navigation
- When refusing to pay rent on leases for submerged lands