On September 9, 2014, the House voted 262-152 to pass HR 5078, the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Regulatory Overreach Protection Act by Reps. Steve Southerland (R-FL) and Nick Rahall (D-WV). The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to redefine most water bodies as so-called “waters of the U.S.” where it may regulate land use on private property. However, this bill would prevent the Agency from moving forward with this Clean Water Act proposed rule, which will only complicate home sales without clarifying what the restrictions are or how to appeal them. While the Senate is unlikely to take up a bill to reign in the EPA before the November elections, the House’s strong bipartisan vote certainly lends support and could bolster NAR’s continuing efforts to push for a vote on the issue. NAR will continue to look for every opportunity and make every effort to oppose this proposed overreach of Clean Water Act authority.
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