The NAR has penned a letter to the Speaker of the House and the Democratic Leader expressing support for S.J. Res. 22, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution. First, let’s rewind and look at how we got to S.J. 22. In November 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Corps of Engineers (Corps) finalized a controversial regulation known as the U.S. Clean Water Rule. This rule essentially changes what waters of the U.S. can, and will be regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Depending on the finality of the federal regulation, the rule also has the possibility to include other waters on a “case-by-case” basis, as the new regulations see fit.
Clean Water Rule lacks clarity
This lack of clarity has the NAR, as well as property owners in general concerned.
The NAR is pushing for the EPA to withdraw and rewrite their rule from scratch. There are three areas of the rule that are the main focus of concern: ephemeral streams, adjacent waters, and ditches.
Due to the lack of clarity concerning jurisdiction and regulation, the NAR continues to urge the EPA and the Corps to revise their rule to ensure property rights are protected.
Too many conflicting opinions
In a letter penned by Tom Salomone, President of the NAR, their position is made clear.
The NAR “supports the CRA Resolution because it stops the rule from going forward and further undermining the nation’s economy and the rights of property owners.”
They cite the reason for their support to be the “significant disagreement between the federal agencies, the states, local governments, and the regulated community about the scope and effect of the rulemaking.”
The letter also goes on to state that the confusion was so widespread that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was forced to impose a nationwide stay on the implementation of the rule, as there were too many conflicting opinions.
Does NAR have the power?
This speaks to the seriousness of the issue: many are concerned, but there is no concrete answer as to what to do, when to do it, or what will happen. This in essence, is why the NAR is asking the resolution to be stopped and hopefully completely revised with greater clarity.
As the resolution approaches the House, it will be interesting to see whether or not the NAR and property owners’ interests are protected or confounded. What do you think about the resolution and the Clean Water Act?