We’ve been covering this issue for quite a while. However, just before the long 2023 Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that narrowed the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act in the case of Sackett v. the EPA. To that end the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association recently issued the following media release applauding that decision:
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) applaud news of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sackett v. EPA that has narrowed federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.
Today’s decision provides long-awaited certainty for property owners and housing providers and properly curbs federal overreach of what defines Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). The apartment industry strongly supports protecting our water resources, but undue and confusing regulations would exacerbate our nationwide housing affordability crisis.
After years of litigation, the Court unanimously agreed that federal authority was lacking in this case and this ruling limits the universe of properties subject to costly and time-consuming federal permits to develop or redevelop housing.
Those additional hurdles would have created permitting delays, added development costs and created additional legal risks that would exacerbate housing challenges in communities across the country.
Going forward, NMHC and NAA encourage policymakers at all levels of government to consider housing affordability and the costs that go into the development and rehabilitation of badly needed housing when considering new or expanded regulatory regimes.