ABC Applauds Passage of Bill to Force Withdrawal of ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule

Contact: Jeff Leieritz (202) 905-2104             
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                                                                For Immediate Release
May 12, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) released the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the flawed “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule and develop a new proposed rule after engaging in meaningful stakeholder consultation.

“The poorly crafted and overreaching Waters of the U.S. rule adds a great deal of ambiguity and uncertainty for contractors and we hope the Obama administration sees today’s action as a bipartisan referendum against this bad rule,” said ABC Vice President of Government Affairs Geoff Burr. “By significantly expanding federal control of land and water resources, this rule will result in a considerably more drawn out and expensive permitting and regulatory process leading to increased costs and unnecessary delays on jobsites throughout the construction industry. We are pleased to see such a large bipartisan group in Congress stand up for the industry in opposing this flawed proposal and will continue to support efforts to reshape the rule.”

The proposed rule would dramatically expand the scope of federal authority over water and land uses across the country and has met heavy opposition from a wide range of industries within the business community, a bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

ABC has been a vocal opponent of WOTUS since it was proposed in April 2014 and announced ahead of the vote that it would consider the vote a key vote on its congressional scorecard. In addition, ABC has:
In the comments ABC and its chapters express concern that, “The uncertainty surrounding what will actually be considered ‘Waters of the United States’ under this proposal, coupled with the EPA’s and Corps’ broad authority to make determinations, could chill any construction near waterways that could conceivably be covered by the rule. This will almost certainly lead to fewer projects overall and negatively impact job creation in the construction industry.”

To read ABC’s comments click here, to read the group of associations comments click here, to read the WAC comments click here.