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From left: NAHB Third Vice Chairman Jerry Konter, Chairman Greg Ugalde, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, First Vice Chairman Dean Mon, Second Vice Chairman Chuck Fowke and Immediate Past Chairman Randy Noel.[/caption]
While in Washington, D.C., for the Transitional Board of Directors meeting, NAHB's Senior Officers met with Andrew Wheeler, Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to discuss NAHB’s continued collaboration with the Agency on key issues impacting the home building industry.
NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde applauded the President's and the EPA's efforts to reduce regulatory burdens, including the Executive Order on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing
to help address the larger goal of housing affordability. He also noted other areas for continued efforts and collaboration, including finalizing the repeal and replacement of the expansive definition of the "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) definition, simplifying the NPDES stormwater regulations, improving the wetlands permitting process, and revisiting the lead-based paint programs impacting remodeling projects.
"NAHB would like to explore opportunities to reduce the regulatory burdens under these programs so that developers, builders and remodelers can focus on what they do best ― providing needed housing for American families," Ugalde stated.
For example, increased requirements surrounding stormwater permits and duplicative efforts at the local, state and national level make housing more expensive and cumbersome to build. Minimal knowledge among the general public about the Lead-Based Paint Renovation Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule diminishes its effectiveness as home owners often hire uncertified firms to save money. NAHB strongly believes opportunities exist within these programs, and others, to streamline regulations and provide more meaningful results.
Additional points of interest from Senior Officers included:
- Support for EPA's policies deferring to state-delegated programs, and identifying ways to help states improve the processes, clarify responsibilities and reduce overall regulatory burdens.
- Support for voluntary green building programs, such as WaterSense and Energy Star, and promoting EPA’s knowledge of and support for the National Green Building Standard, which is expected to be released in its third edition soon.
NAHB looks forward to continued collaboration with the EPA to identify and address barriers to affordable housing, and stands ready to help ensure efficient, cost-effective environmental regulations are in place to protect resources.