Environment and Wildlife

NAHB advocates for common-sense regulations that protect our country’s natural resources and provide regulatory certainty for home builders and developers. NAHB's State and Local Issues Fund (SLIF) can help associations conduct research, make appeals and advocate on environmental issues such as proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and overreaching environmental standards that impede development.

Texas Salamander Coalition

Home Builders of Greater Austin (Texas)

The nationwide trend of hyper-diversification of species can be a challenge for builders as it creates the false image of many species with a limited geographical distribution that, under certain assessments, can severely limit development. With the support of SLIF funds, the HBAGA formed a coalition to provide data on water quality, lack of species diversification and the effectiveness of current regulation to defer the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s listing of four species under the ESA.

Estimated project cost: $150,000

Funding request: $20,000

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Program

Building Industry Association of Clark County (Vancouver, Wash.)

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program would require Low Impact Development techniques, including using pervious pavements for virtually all developments. The BIA projects that the cost of each lot will initially increase more than $10,000 to comply, and there will also be a need for long-term maintenance and risk assessments. The BIA and coalition partners will use SLIF funds to retain a law firm for an appeal with the Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Estimated project cost: $100,000

Funding request: $30,000

California Coalition Response to Proposed Federal Endangered Species Act Regulations

California Building Industries Association (CBIA)

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed rule changes under consideration that would add new categories to what is considered critical habitat. As a result, the change will allow the Service to designate an area as an occupied critical habitat even if the species were not present at the time of the designation. In addition, a new definition of “adverse modification” would be implemented that could effectively create no touch zones for future development. CBIA will form a coalition and hire a law firm and a technical expert to draft regulatory comments.

Estimated project cost: n/a

Funding request: $10,000

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Endangered Species Act

Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts (HBRAMA)

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife created the Natural Heritage group, which has become increasingly bureaucratic and regulatory. HBRAMA is working to limit its growing scope through legislative and judicial means. With SLIF support, the association is continuing its lobbying efforts and developing a public awareness campaign.

Estimated project cost: $18,500

Funding request: $18,500

Emergency Funding Request: Out-of-state Special Interest Groups

North Dakota Association of Builders

Out-of-state special interest groups funded an effort to get the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment on the general election ballot. This amendment would dedicate 5% of North Dakota’s revenue from its oil extraction tax to a conservation fund and mandate fund spending. The HBA applied for SLIF funding to fight against these out-of-state groups.

Estimated project cost: n/a

Funding request: $10,000

Coalition Response to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Consideration of an ESA Petition

Florida Home Builders Association

New designations of critical habitat or federally protected species can impose a strict federal prohibition on lawful land use activities. The HBA and its coalition partners will use SLIF funds to provide the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a detailed analysis of the problems and deficiencies of a petition to protect a reptile species under the ESA.

Estimated project cost: $40,000-$50,000

Funding request: $4,000

Balancing Environment Protections and Growth

New Jersey Builders Association

The New Jersey Highlands Council has focused too heavily on environmental protection, which has only further minimized the already limited development potential of the area. The Highlands Act mandates a balance of environmental protection and ensuring opportunities for housing and growth. With the support of SLIF funding, the BA and its coalition partners will prepare research and policy documents to petition the rulemaking process of the Highlands Council to make it more transparent and consistent.

Estimated project cost: n/a

Funding request: $20,000

Single Environmental Standards for State

Rhode Island Builders Association

All local wetland and septic rules in Rhode Island are being replaced by a single state-based standard. Many environmental groups have testified before the committee tasked with creating the new rules and advocated for strict regulations. With the help of SLIF funding, the BA will generate reports and fly in experts to testify and balance the conversation to include the interests of home builders.

Estimated project cost: $10,000

Funding request: $10,000