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Builders applaud court ruling suspending EPA water rule

EPA rule would raise housing costs, add unnecessary regulatory burdens, builders' organization says

Local builders and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) this week commended the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for enacting a nationwide stay of the Environmental Protection Agency's final regulations that expanded the definition of "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act.

"We applaud the Sixth Circuit for taking this action to suspend the EPA's water rule," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.

"NAHB has been working diligently on the legislative and legal fronts to overturn this EPA rule that raises housing costs, tramples states' rights and adds unnecessary regulatory burdens to small businesses," he added.

As required by law, the EPA failed to consult with state and local governments, confer with business stakeholders, comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act or produce an accurate cost-benefit analysis, Woods said.

In its ruling, the Sixth Circuit stated:

"A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new Rule and whether they will survive legal testing. A stay honors the policy of cooperative federalism that informs the Clean Water Act and must attend the shared responsibility for safeguarding the nation's waters."

Woods said that home builders want to protect the nation's waters, "but we need clear rules."

"This court decision is a step in the right direction," he added.

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