Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla., today issued the following statement on Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) legislation to codify the 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 certification rule:
“We commend Sen. Capito for introducing legislation to codify the 2020 Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 certification rule. This bill will help protect our nation’s waterways and promote housing affordability by allowing builders and developers to continue to access the vitally important CWA Section 404 nationwide wetlands permitting program that enables badly needed land development and housing construction to move forward. The legislation focuses state permitting reviews on issues regarding water quality standards and emphasizes the need for prompt approval of permitting decisions to move forward where applicable.
“A hastily issued court decision of the current CWA Section 401 certification rule last October has left developers, builders and other key sectors of the U.S. economy unable to obtain required federal wetlands permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). Clarifying and expediting the Section 401 certification process between state agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps will ensure federal CWA permitting programs like the Section 404 nationwide permit program that are vital to the nation’s housing, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors can run effectively. Sen. Capito’s thoughtful legislation will promote housing and economic development while protecting our nation’s waterways.”