Urge Your Senators to Support Bill That Will Overturn Onerous EPA Water Rule

Filed in Capitol Hill, Codes and Regulations by on June 24, 2015 1 Comment

Farm Bureau 1With the Senate out of session from June 29 through July 6, NAHB members are encouraged to meet with their senators in their home districts during this interval and urge them to support S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.

The bill compels the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw their final rule defining “waters of the United States” that will place millions of additional acres of land under federal jurisdiction.

The rule, which will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, will make it more difficult for home builders to provide housing at affordable prices because it will greatly increase the number of sites required to obtain a federal Clean Water Act permit. The rule will delay or even halt many construction projects nationwide.

Without this legislation, home builders will be forced to obtain federal permits that can cost as much as $271,000 and take many years to obtain.

At NAHB’s urging, the House recently passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act. The bill would force EPA and the Corps to withdraw this rule, go back and consult with state and local governments, conduct meaningful discussions with small business stakeholders, and produce an accurate cost-benefit analysis. The agencies could then re-propose an updated rule.

Senate bill S. 1140 accomplishes this same goal while also providing the agencies with some guidance on how to identify a jurisdictional water. The bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

We Need Your Help

Take a few minutes and send a letter to your senators urging them to support S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. All you need to do is go to www.capitolconnect.com/builderlink/. The process is quick and easy.

Builders are also encouraged to set up appointments and meet with your senators during the week of June 29 when they are back at home.

Tell your senators to support S. 1140 because your business cannot continue to grow and thrive unless we have a federal permitting process that is easy to understand, timely and focused on meaningful protection for our nation’s water resources. Passing S. 1140 will force EPA and the Corps to recraft the rule to ensure that it reflects congressional intent and creates the clarity and balance needed for robust economic activity.

Learn more about the EPA final water rule.

Use these talking points when speaking with federal lawmakers and others on why this rule needs to be withdrawn.

For more information, email Courtney Briggs at NAHB or call her at 800-368-5242 x8459.

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  1. Blake Brewster says:

    I do not support sueing the EPA over this.

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