Statement from NAHB Chairman on the Recent District Court Decisions on EPA Water Rule

August 28, 2015

Tom Woods, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo., issued the following statement concerning the recent District court rulings in North Dakota, West Virginia and Georgia on the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule defining the “waters of the United States” as found in the Clean Water Act.

“Although the rule will cause harm to all 50 states, the mixed decisions to come out of the various district courts this week only further illustrate the significant issues and confusion caused by the EPA, and the lack of coordination between the agency and its stakeholders in developing this rule. The EPA has misinterpreted which court should even review this rule, leading various courts to disagree on which court has jurisdiction over these cases—which will cause delays while the judicial system figures this out.

“We applaud the District Court of North Dakota for its decision that recognized the damage that the rule may bring to the 13 states that filed in North Dakota and stopped the EPA from implementing it until it can conduct a proper review of the record. The court found that the EPA misinterpreted the Clean Water Act, and the rule likely does not comply with the Supreme Court precedent. Additionally, it found that the EPA has not given the public a fair chance to comment on the rule, and that the final rule would be considered a vast departure from the proposed rule initially seen by the public.

“The EPA has exceeded its authority and completely mismanaged this rule making. In light of the confusion found by the courts this week, and the overall issues with the rule, NAHB again called on the EPA to immediately withdraw this rule.”