Fulfilling the pledge that I made at the Spring Board of Directors Meeting, NAHB has filed suit seeking to overturn a federal rule that redefines “the waters of the U.S.” and drastically expands the area that can be regulated by the federal government under the Clean Water Act. The rule will go into effect Aug. 28.Brought against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, the lawsuit charges that the two agencies are “set and determined to exert jurisdiction over virtually every water feature imaginable.”
NAHB has been involved in trying to shape this rule since it was first proposed in April 2014, and urged significant changes to make it more workable. Despite some minor improvements, the final rule is so extreme that the federal government will actually regulate certain roadside ditches, isolated ponds, and channels that may flow only after a heavy rainfall.
Such intrusive federal encroachment will inevitably lead to bureaucratic delays, increased project costs and mitigation fees, and decreased housing affordability.
The lawsuit notes that the rule goes well beyond Congress’ original intent when it enacted the Clean Water Act and ignores the jurisdictional limits already set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court.
NAHB was joined in the suit by other business and agricultural organizations, including: the American Farm Bureau Federation; the National Association of Manufacturers; the American Road and Transportation Builders Association; the American Petroleum Institute; the Leading Builders of America; the National Alliance of Forest Owners; the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; the National Corn Growers Association; the National Mining Association; the National Pork Producers; and the Public Lands Council.
For more information, contact Tom Ward, vice president of legal advocacy, at 800-368-5242 x8230.
Today begins the statutorily enacted one-year delay of the mandatory blower door testing, mechanical ventilation and secondary fire elevators for high-rises. Given all that has occurred to get this adopted, some building officials may still be confused about the delay’s status. The Florida Building Commission has issued some statements clarifying the issue.
The Florida Building Code Information System contains an emphatic statement about the one-year delay. Click here to read the statement on-line. The communique below was recently sent to all interest parties from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Building Codes and Standards Office. The memo also should clear up any confusion with local building officials regarding the applicability of the one year delay.
To: All Interested Parties
RE: Section 69, Chapter 2015-222 Laws of Florida – 5th Edition (2014) Florida Building Code
This is to let you know that during its special session in June, the Legislature enacted the following in an implementing bill “SB 2502-A” associated with the State’s budget:]
(1) In order to implement Specific Appropriation 2250 of the 2015-2016 General Appropriations Act and notwithstanding any provision of the Florida Building Code or other provision of law, the following provisions shall not take effect until June 30, 2016:
(a) Mandatory blower door testing for residential buildings or dwelling units as contained in Section R402.4.1.2 of the Florida Building Code, 5th Edition (2014) Energy Conservation Volume;
(b) A second fire service access elevator as contained in Section 403.6.1 of the Florida Building Code, 5th Edition (2014) Building Volume; and
(c) Mechanical ventilation for residential buildings or dwelling units as contained in Section R303.4 of the Florida Building Code, 5th Edition (2014) Residential Volume.
(2) This section shall expire July 1, 2016 – Section 69, Chapter 2015-222, Laws of Florida.
This bill takes effect on July 1, 2015. Please conduct yourselves accordingly.
More about the FHBA…Established in 1949, the Florida Home Builders Association is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Florida’s local/regional homebuilder associations. FHBA, along with its affiliates, work to create the best possible economic and regulatory environment for members to succeed.