Sunday, June 11, 2006

We'd All Like Cheaper Housing but...

We found this item on the website of the National Association of Home Builders.
Sounds like the best thing since sliced bread, but it's only part of the bill:

Bipartisan Bill To Improve Federal Storm Water Program Would Boost Housing Affordability

June 9, 2006 - Legislation introduced yesterday by Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) and 17 bipartisan cosponsors would update and improve Environmental Protection Agency storm water permit and enforcement policies that have needlessly harmed housing affordability, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“Current storm water permitting requirements and regulations are duplicative and burdensome, adding anywhere from $1,400 to $4,500 to the cost of every lot,” said NAHB President David Pressly, a home builder from Statesville, N.C. “The legislation takes into account the differences between residential construction activity and other industries. By taking a more balanced and reasonable approach to storm water management and enforcement, the measure would streamline the permit process, improve compliance and enhance environmental protection.”

H.R. 5558, the “Stormwater Enforcement and Permitting Act,” contains a number of provisions that would protect the environment without needlessly driving up housing costs. The bill would:

- Develop a program to increase awareness among residential construction site operators of their regulatory requirements

- Create a fair and reasonable process by which the Environmental Protection Agency can seek information from residential construction site operators

- Allow builders a one-time chance to correct permit deficiencies that don’t cause environmental harm

- Remove duplicative permit obligations where residential construction site operators discharge into municipal storm sewer systems that are already permitted and regulated

- Allow authorized states to assume the lead enforcement role

- Provide statutory authorization for EPA’s current practice of issuing general permits

At a time when housing affordability is becoming a national issue, and duplicative and burdensome storm water regulations are pushing up the cost of housing and pricing a growing number of families out of the market for homeownership, the time has come to update and improve these requirements, Pressly said. A more consistent and sensible regulatory approach would better protect America’s rivers and streams without unduly increasing housing costs, he added.

More to come....

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