Below is a press release from the National Association of Home Builders regarding the overreach of the
EPA’s new rules. We’ve seen countless times how the regulatory burden has impeded the housing
recovery in Minnesota and this is one more example:
NAHB is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately withdraw final
regulations that would dramatically expand the definition of “waters of the United States” under the
Clean Water Act.
This renewed call is based on new evidence that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers believes EPA used
flawed technical and scientific analysis in crafting the regulation that was so indefensible that the
Corps demanded that it be distanced from the rule.
“It is bad enough that EPA would push through new regulations that would put millions of additional
acres of private land under federal control, needlessly raise housing costs and add more regulatory
burdens to small businesses,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods.
“But it is absolutely scandalous that EPA disregarded the objections of the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, which expressed strong concerns that the rule was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible
and would be extremely difficult to implement. We call on EPA to act immediately to withdraw this rule
and put an end to this federal land grab.”
Newly uncovered documents reveal that senior Corps officials concluded that the final water rule
contains serious flaws, contradicts long-standing Clean Water Act legal principles and greatly differs
from the proposed rule provided for public comment.
Moreover, as required by law, EPA failed to consult with state and local governments, confer with
business stakeholders, comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act or produce an
accurate cost-benefit analysis.
With the rule set to take effect on Aug. 28, Woods added that it will not only exacerbate regulatory
uncertainty, but also impede the housing recovery and economic growth by vastly extending the areas
in which home builders and other landowners are required to obtain wetlands permits.
“EPA has made a mockery of the regulatory process and clearly stopped at nothing to advance its
environmental-activist agenda,” said Woods.
“Even before it was known that the Corps so strongly disagreed with the final water rule, 34 states
had formally requested that the rule be withdrawn and 31 state attorneys general had filed suit calling
for the rule to be rescinded. EPA must act in the best interests of the American public and terminate
this rule before it can take effect.”
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