Sen. Marco Rubio Stands For Florida Landowners
For Immediate Release:
November 5, 2015 – Sen. Marco Rubio really stepped up for the people of Florida on Tuesday with his vote for S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. It was a vote for reasonable, common-sense limits of federal authority to regulate wetlands and streams.
Unfortunately, the Senate did not approve the measure, which seeks to overturn an ill-conceived and excessively burdensome rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that expands the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Members of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) are disappointed in those senators who chose politics over sound public policy, and we will continue to fight to overturn this flawed rule that infringes on states’ rights and triggers costly and burdensome permitting and regulatory requirements.
The new rule from EPA and the Corps allows the federal agencies to regulate millions of additional acres of private land as “wetlands” and “tributaries.” Most Americans would not even recognize these so-called “waters” if they saw them. They might be roadside ditches, low spots on the landscape or streams that only appear after a heavy rain.
FHBA stands strong for clean water and we value clear, sensible guidance from regulators. But the overreach of this rule is staggering.
Property owners have to obtain a permit from the federal government just to move dirt into one of these so-called “waters,” a long and costly process that already faces a huge backlog. This new federal rule drives up home prices because it forces even more new residential construction projects to go through this onerous permitting process.
The Federal Water Quality Protection Act would require EPA and the Corps to withdraw the rule, develop a new rule in consultation with affected stakeholders, and ensure that the new rule is based on sound science and realistic economic analysis.
Home builders are not the only ones fighting this expansive regulation. Governors or public agencies of 34 states have come out against it. A number of major business and trade groups have also voiced opposition. These include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Manufacturing Association, the National Association of REALTORS® and dozens of other groups.
Although the Senate did not vote for cloture on Tuesday, we will continue to press legislators to pass this bill and overturn this rule. It’s time to stop this unprecedented federal land grab and take the existing rule off the books for good. Make EPA and the Corps start over and work with affected stakeholders to get it right.
Thank you Sen. Rubio for standing up for Florida’s landowners, and for common sense government. Members of the FHBA appreciate your support as we continue to fight this flawed rule.
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.
For further information please contact:
Allison Finley, Director of Marketing and Communications
Florida Home Builders Association
800.261.9447 | 850.766.1679