The National Apartment Association and National Multifamily Housing Council have gone on record as being disappointed in a United States Environmental Protection Agency regulation redefining and expanding what “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) means under the Clean Water Act. The organizations noted that while strongly supporting water resources protection, they cannot get behind the EPA-issued changes.
The regulations will dramatically enlarge the universe of properties, including those with no more than a tenuous relationship to a body of water, required to seek costly federal permits to develop or redevelop housing, NAA and NMHC asserted. The organizations further argue the additional obstacles posed by these changes will result in permitting delays and add to development costs. Moreover, they will generate added legal risks that will worsen the already-dire housing affordability crisis in the country.
In light of the fact that states and local jurisdictions impose their own water protection rules, the NAA and NMHC in a joint prepared statement call the regulations “a costly but unnecessary overlay.”
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