In a sign of NAHB’s clout on Capitol Hill, during a congressional hearing yesterday on the use of science in regulatory decision making, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) specifically cited a question put forth by the association on how to implement the new waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule recently released by the Biden administration in an exchange with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan.
Since the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their amended 2023 WOTUS rule, the public and Corps districts have struggled to receive guidance and clarity on what a “relatively permanent” waterbody and “continuous surface connection” mean.
This confusion and uncertainty regarding what waters are subject to federal jurisdiction sets the stage for continued federal overreach, bureaucratic delays during the wetlands permitting process, and regulatory confusion for home builders and land developers.
NAHB has sent a letter to the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calling on the agencies to provide additional guidance to its field staff and the general public on the new rule to ensure clarity and action.
We are calling on the agencies to expedite approvals for jurisdictional determinations and Clean Water Act 404 permits based on an approved jurisdictional determination.
NAHB will continue to meet with EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials to find ways to expedite the federal permitting process, offer pragmatic changes that maintain environmental protection of our nation’s waterways, and restore common sense and predictability to the federal wetlands permitting process.
Rep. Fleischmann began his question to EPA Administrator Regan by saying, “I have a question from our friends, the home builders.” View his exchange with Administrator Regan.