This post was updated with information about NAHB’s comment letter on July 23.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a final rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. The rule contains new regulatory definitions and terms that define the scope of federal jurisdiction and Clean Water Act permitting.
As a benefit to members, NAHB is hosting a free informational webinar on July 28 at 2 p.m. EST describing the new rule and how to comply with the Clean Water Act when the regulation becomes effective on Aug. 28.
EPA has not yet indicated how it plans to put these new definitions in place, and that’s one reason why NAHB CEO Jerry Howard has asked EPA officials to delay the final rule by at least three months.
“To avoid unnecessary unpredictability, inconsistency, increased project costs and delays and ever more litigation,” EPA should “share a reasoned plan of action for the regulated community to understand how federal jurisdictional decisions will be made so that they can comply,” the July 23 letter said.
If granted, the result would be a new effective date of Nov. 26 —Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, the expanded scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction and federal permitting under this rule is nothing to be thankful about.
Owen McDonough, Ph.D., NAHB’s environmental policy program manager, and Michael Josselyn, Ph.D., co-founder of Wetlands Research Associates, Inc. and an NAHB member, will provide an overview of the rule and real-world examples of jurisdictional determinations according to the new regulation.