Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill., issued the following statement following the release of a Senate report stating that new federal regulations defining “waters of the U.S.” represent extreme overreach of federal authority.
“Today’s Senate report demands a swift response from Congress and reaffirms what NAHB has been saying for the past two years: “The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ sweeping final rule issued last summer to redefine ‘waters of the U.S.’ (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act lacks clarity and certainty for the small business community and amounts to a massive federal land grab that would place millions of additional acres under federal oversight.
“Perhaps this is why U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last October blocked the agencies from implementing the WOTUS rule nationwide and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy called codification of the rule ‘ominous.’
“On Nov. 3, 2015, 11 U.S. senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asserting the right to take action if the EPA did not provide clarity to enforce the rule. The Senate report details specific case studies that clearly illustrates there is no clarity or certainty regarding Clean Water Act jurisdiction.
“It is now incumbent on these 11 senators [Sens. Angus King (I-Maine), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)] to adhere to their pledge and immediately draft legislation to recraft the rule to curb this outrageous use of federal authority.”