THE LATEST: Congress will soon vote to repeal a new regulation that expands federal permitting over more construction projects around water, potentially even some ditches. Tell President Biden and Congress the construction industry doesn’t need more red tape to delay construction.
WHAT TO DO: It takes less than 45 seconds to send the prewritten message telling President Biden and your congressional officials to stop this regulation! You can also send your own personal message about how the regulation could impact your projects.
WHY IT MATTERS: Uncertainty and confusion around requirements in the federal environmental permitting process can significantly drive-up project costs, delay schedules, and, ultimately, cause project cancellations. Contractors should be aware that:
- This new rule does not explicitly exclude roadside ditches. Therefore, each roadside ditch will need to be evaluated in its entirety;
- Failure to cover a water under a federal 404 permit can lead to criminal penalties and fines of up to $64,618 per day;
- An individual Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 dredge and fill permit can take 788 days and over $270,000 to process; and
- As one state estimates, the activities under the federal 404 permit and state permit overlap 85 percent of the time, meaning two sets of permits that often regulate the same activity must be filed.
THE DETAILS: On March 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ new regulation expanding the CWA definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) takes effect. For more on the regulation, click here.
AGC of America filed a Construction Advocacy Fund-backed lawsuit to block the regulation from taking effect. For more on the lawsuit, click here. Passage of a congressional resolution disapproving of the regulation would help AGC’s lawsuit in the courts. For how, click here.