Supreme Court Decision Brings Good News on Residential Construction Equipment
In a solid victory for the nation’s home builders, an April 28 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal Clean Air Act (CAA) preemptions against state and local governments from setting their own standards to control emissions from new motor vehicles, including residential construction equipment.
“This will ensure that state and local governments trying to achieve new air quality levels are not doing it on the backs of home builders,” said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn. “We now have the ammunition for builders and developers to beat back any overreaching regulations of new construction equipment, like local governments in Texas tried to do just recently.”
The Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Ninth Circuit in the case of Engine Manufacturer’s Association v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, a lawsuit against regulations that would have required certain fleet owners in the Los Angeles area to purchase or lease alternative-fueled vehicles.
The Supreme Court noted that the lower court’s interpretation of the CAA confused actual emission control “standards” with the means of “enforcing standards.” The high court also found that other parts of the decision made “no sense.”