ASLA, IA, and NAHB Hold Opposing Views in New WOTUS Rule Perspectives09-11-23 | News

ASLA, IA, and NAHB Hold Opposing Views in New WOTUS Rule Perspectives

Revised Waters of the United States Rule Raises Questions About Clean Water Jurisdiction
by Staff

The amended WOTUS rule's impact on water regulation leads to the ASLA and the Irrigation Association holding opposing views.

Shortly after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers released a revised "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS), reported on the impact the new ruling will have on the housing market according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

In short, the NAHB raised concerns that the new ruling would directly result in continued regulatory barriers to affordable housing and that developers would struggle to find the developable land necessary to produce the new affordable housing.

Since then, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) issued a release stating that the revised rule is a positive step towards clarity and functionality. They believe it will provide opportunities for infrastructure projects and economic growth while ensuring the protection of the nation's waters.

Conversely, the Irrigation Association expressed reservations. While they appreciate the removal of the "significant nexus" standard following the Supreme Court's decision, they emphasize ongoing concerns about the rule's scope. Nathan Bowen, Vice President of Public Affairs and Advocacy at the Irrigation Association, highlights the lack of stakeholder consultation and the impact of separate litigation on the new WOTUS rule.

Additionally, the President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall, echoed the IA's concerns that the EPA missed an opportunity to create fair legislation. He argues that the rule doesn't adequately respect private property rights and the Clean Water Act, leaving room for government overreach.

This updated WOTUS rule sparks a continuing debate between those who believe it provides much-needed clarity and those who question its regulatory scope. As stakeholders weigh its implications, it remains to be seen how this rule will impact water regulation and various industries moving forward.