Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo., issued the following statement on the association’s lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking to overturn the “waters of the United States” rule that defines the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act:
“Today, NAHB took a stand against the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fight back against this federal overreach under the Clean Water Act. NAHB’s efforts to work with the agencies to shape the proposed waters of the U.S. rule into a more workable solution were largely ignored. As such, we had no other choice than to file suit in an attempt to rein in their attempts to exert jurisdiction over virtually every water feature imaginable.
“The rule leaves the identification of jurisdictional waters so vague and uncertain that our members cannot determine whether and when the most basic activities undertaken on their land will subject them to the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements. With its broad definitions and expanded reach, EPA’s final rule is so extreme that it will actually regulate certain roadside ditches, isolated ponds and channels that may only flow after a heavy rainfall. This rule will needlessly raise housing costs and add more regulatory burdens to industries already struggling in a recovering economic environment.
“NAHB is not alone in taking legal action over this excessive regulation. We have joined with a number of other business and agricultural groups in taking this legal action, and the attorneys general of 27 states have filed suit against the rule. We plan to fight this federal overreach every step of the way.”