House Approves Legislation to Expedite Federal Permitting Process | Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho | Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Idaho | Treasure Valley
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House Approves Legislation to Expedite Federal Permitting Process

The House has approved NAHB-supported legislation that includes several amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting process that will provide home builders needed clarity and confidence as they seek federal permits for home building and development projects.

The Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act (H.R. 7023) respects environmental protections and provides pragmatic solutions to the CWA Section 404 dredge and fill permit program and Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program

Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Improve the Nationwide Permit (NWP): Home builders pull some of the highest numbers of Section 404 NWPs issued annually. To assist with planning and permit backlogs, this legislation codifies the duration of an NWP from five to 10 years and streamlines the reissuance process.
  • Reduce Permitting Uncertainty: The bill provides a defined timeline to when the EPA may veto a Section 404 permit, and places sensible timelines on when judicial reviews may be filed. Having this predictability will allow home builders to reliably proceed with construction once a permit is granted.
  • Increase Confidence in NPDES Permits: In a major improvement to the Section 402 NPDES permit, this bill requires permit writers to provide clear and consistent parameters when issuing permits, while recognizing the use of best management practices. NAHB worked with lawmakers to add specific legislative language that would not affect how home builders use best management practices when managing stormwater runoff from construction sites. This will provide assurances to home builders that complying with their permits won’t include vague water quality standards, nor impose unobtainable numeric discharge limits.

The home building industry requires confidence in the CWA permitting process. H.R. 7023 respects environmental safeguards and makes significant strides in ensuring clarity in the regulatory process.

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