Since the end of June, 28 state attorneys general, including South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, have filed lawsuits seeking to overturn a federal rule that defines the “waters of the United States” and the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has also filed its own lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, charging that EPA and the Corps are “set and determined to exert jurisdiction over virtually every water feature imaginable.”
The effort by local and state home builders associations to get their state attorney generals involved is important to prevent federal overreach that could place millions of additional acres of private land and countless miles of dry stream beds under federal jurisdiction.
The water rule, which will go into effect Aug. 28, is important to the home building industry because it changes what areas can be regulated by the federal government under the Clean Water Act and when builders and developers must obtain federal permits.
In addition to challenging the rule in the courts, NAHB continues to successfully engage legislators. With bipartisan support, the House recently approved H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which would require EPA and the Corps to withdraw their rule and develop a new plan to safeguard America’s waterways in consultation with state and local governments and other affected stakeholders, including small businesses.
NAHB is also urging the Senate to pass companion legislation, S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.
Members are encouraged to contact their senators and urge them to support this bill. Use these talking points as a guide to talk to elected officials and others about why the rule should be withdrawn.