The EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), JoEllen Darcy, signed the final Waters of the United States rule yesterday. You can read the new rule here. The rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
For the last 18 months, BASE has worked diligently to update our members, local governments and the media about the significant impact the rule will have nationally, but especially in Southeastern North Carolina.
A coalition of national groups, including real estate, development, agriculture, business and local governments continue to express extreme concern with the rule. NAHB Chairman Tom Woods issued the following statement opposing the rule and urging Congress to provide a legislative fix:
“EPA’s final water rule will needlessly raise housing costs and add more regulatory burdens to landowners and industries that rely on a functioning permitting process to spur job and economic growth. The rule significantly expands the definition of a tributary to include any dry land feature that flows only after a heavy rainfall. Such federal overreach goes well beyond congressional intent and the limits of jurisdiction set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Regrettably, as a result of these overly broad definitions, this rule will soon wind up in the courts yet again. Ultimately, today’s rule underscores the role that Congress must play in defining the limits of the Clean Water Act.”
The US House recently passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which would require EPA to withdraw its rule and develop a new plan in consultation with state and local governments and other affected stakeholders, including the small business community. The bill also stipulates that such a plan must be based on sound economic and scientific analysis.
A companion bill, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) is pending in the Senate. Click below to write your Senators now and urge them to continue to support S1140.