House Backs Home Builders and Landowners, Passes Water Protection ActThursday, 11 September 2014 00:00
The House of Representatives passed the H.R. 5078 bill, known as the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, this week. According to Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the House sent a strong message of support to the nation’s home builders and landowners.
This act will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from establishing stronger federal overreach that could impact economic growth by hindering individual landowners and home builders. This bill prohibits the EPA and the Corps from finalizing a rule they had been formulated within the Clean Water Act, which would have given both groups increased authority over “waters of the U.S.” like ditches, mudflats, and prairie potholes, said Kelly.
“Allowing these agencies to radically increase their jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act would impede the fledgling housing recovery by greatly increasing the number of construction sites required to obtain permits, which would also delay and raise the cost of home building projects,” said Kelly in a NAHB press release this week. “Moreover, many American families would be priced out of the housing market if this rule is finalized in its current form.”
Kelly and the NAHB as a whole commended the House for passing the bill and forcing the EPA to formulate a different plan. He said the EPA’s future plan needs to include the maintaining of environmental safeguards along with protecting landowners from “unnecessary regulation.”