BUILDER: Opinion: Builders To Benefit From Revised WOTUS Rule

Builders scored a major victory at the end of 2018 when the Trump administration released its proposed new definition for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This revised rule is a welcome reprieve from the 2015 WOTUS definition, which was confusing and a huge encroachment of federal authority.

From the moment the 2015 regulation was proposed, NAHB fought it with our typical vigor. We engaged legislators and regulators, emphasizing how this rule was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent and congressional intent. We also played a vital role in litigating WOTUS-related cases in the court system.

The administration heard us loud and clear. This proposed new WOTUS definition fulfills President Donald Trump’s commitment to the NAHB to end the 2015 rule. One of his earliest acts in office was to sign an executive order directing the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin to repeal and replace the previous definition. This action honored a campaign promise he made to the NAHB Board of Directors in 2016 when he was running for president, and we offered critical insight as the proposal was being developed.

The new definition would provide much-needed clarity regarding which waters fall under federal oversight. This would help accelerate the permitting process, which in turn will allow home builders to more easily provide affordable housing. As our nation deals with a major housing affordability crisis, we need these types of reasonable, common-sense regulations that do not unnecessarily raise home prices.

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Photo Credit: Builder Staff