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Homebuilding Group Calls for More Guidance on Federal Water Rule Implementation



The leader of a homebuilders association is asking for for clearer guidance on the federal "waters of the U.S." rule. (Shutterstock)
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National Association o Homebuilders chair Alicia Huey has called on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide further guidance on the new rule for “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). Huey’s request comes in response to the perceived lack of clarity and action following a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Huey expressed concern over the limited decisions Corps field staff feel comfortable making, which currently include preliminary jurisdictional determinations, delineation concurrence letters, no permit required letters, and AJDs for dry land and categorically excluded waters. These actions, however, do not apply to most activities conducted by landowners, home builders, industries, states, or local governments who request AJDs before seeking required Clean Water Act 404 permits.

Huey also posed several questions regarding the scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction and when a CWA 404 permit is required. These questions seek to clarify how and when the agencies plan to educate their field staff and the public, and how they will interpret terms such as “relatively permanent” waterbody and “continuous surface connection”.

Read more at NAHB.

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