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A group of 16 housing groups, infrastructure, and agricultural organizations—including the NAHB, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), National Association of Realtors, Leading Builders of America, and Associated General Contractors of America—filed suit to challenge the recently released Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army announced a redefined and expanded definition of WOTUS under the Clean Water Act in early January 2023. At the time, the EPA said the updated regulation would strengthen fundamental protections for waters that are sources of drinking water.

At the time of the announcement, the NAHB said the WOTUS rule “radically” extended the areas in which home builders would be required to get federal permits and would result in continued regulator barriers to affordable housing. The NMHC called the definition a “federal overreach” and said the definition would expand the universe of properties required to seek federal permits to develop or redevelop housing.

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