The National Association of REALTORS® last week filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule from going into effect. The final rule was announced on Dec. 29 and is set to take effect on March 20. Texas REALTORS® supports NAR’s efforts.
The lawsuit challenges the legality of the rule, which purports to clarify the agencies’ definition of WOTUS. Instead of providing much-needed clarity to the regulated community, the rule instead vastly expands the agencies’ authority over dry land and water features regardless of the physical connection to actual navigable waters. Under the final rule, the complaint argues that property owners will constantly be at risk that any sometimes-wet feature on their property will be deemed WOTUS by the agencies using vague and unpredictable standards—making normal business activities in that area not only subject to substantial regulatory burdens but also subject to criminal and civil penalties for those activities.
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