Yesterday a federal judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction to stop the Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) from taking effect in 13 states, including Missouri. The rule, which would allow the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to greatly expand their regulatory authority over small bodies of water, was originally set to take effect today, August 28. In a newstatement Tom Woods, chairman of NAHB, commented, “We applaud the District Court of North Dakota for its decision that recognized the damage that the rule may bring…and stopped the EPA from implementing it until it can conduct a proper review of the record.”
The ruling coincides with a conference call that KCHBA coordinated earlier today with the office of U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, who serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Representing the HBA on the call was Past President Tom French, Executive Vice President Sara Corless and Government Affairs Coordinator Katie Walkley. According to his staff, Senator Roberts has been a longstanding opponent of WOTUS and other overreaching regulations put forth by the EPA. He would like to see the rule withdrawn altogether, by any means necessary. Options to do so include Congress passing a stand-alone bill, attaching it as an amendment to other legislation, or defunding the program in this year’s budget. According to Senator Roberts, “The WOTUS rule is nothing but a land grab under the guise of the Clean Water Act, and I’ll continue to keep fighting the good fight to push back against EPA’s federal overreach.” That fight will likely be a lengthy one, but the court ruling in North Dakota is a solid step towards success. For more information call 816-942-8800 or send an email to Katie@kchba.org.