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Week of May 10, 2004

Front Page

President's Message

* For Working Families, Affordable Housing Is in Short Supply

Housing and Economics

* Consumers Win Latest Round in Canadian Lumber Dispute
* A Housing Price Bubble Does Not Exist, Freddie Mac Economists Say
* Eye on the Economy

Housing Politics

* Sarbanes Blames ‘Ideologues’ for Impasse Over GSE Reform Legislation
* Provisions in Habitat Reform Bill Supported by Builders
* NAHB Unveils Virtual 'Get Out The Vote' Election Web Service

Business Management

* NAHB Kicks Off General Liability Insurance Initiative
* Review Your Accounting Reports to Protect Yourself From Fraud


* Supreme Court Decision Brings Good News on Residential Construction Equipment
* Storm Water Permit Guide Available at


* Stillman Knight Honored for Affordable Housing Efforts
* High-Density Housing an Opportunity for ‘Urban Quality’ Design

Small Builders and Remodelers

* Build a Brand: Become a Household Name
* Publicize May as National Remodeling Month in Your Market


* Survey Says Buyers Want Laundry Rooms, Linen Closets
* Best in American Living Awards Accepting Entries

Seniors Housing

* HUD Urged to Provide FHA Insurance for Age-Restricted Elderly Housing
* Not-So-Big Homes Provide Unique Marketing Advantages

Legal Issues

* Texas Town’s Misconduct Not Enough to Show Taking

Housing Finance

* Responses Sought on HUD Proposal For Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Housing Goals
* National Housing Conference to Honor Angelo Mozilo for Lowering Homeownership Barriers

Codes and Standards

* Stair Geometry, Window Sill Heights on Hearings Agenda


* Second International Housing Conference of the Americas Promotes Business Across Mexican Border


* NAHB Members, Job Corps Students Help DC Habitat in Family Build

Building Products

* Vinyl Siding Stays Put During Severe Weather

Builder's Engineer

* Gold-Fringed Business Cards?

Building News Coast To Coast

Association News & Events

* Calendar of Events

NBN Back Issues


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.”

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NAHB participated in the case as part of an amicus coalition that included the American Trucking Associations, the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition, ARTBA and the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association. Over the past few years, NAHB has supported state and local home builders associations fighting overregulation of new construction equipment.

“As state implementation plans are being developed over the next few years, this decision should provide some solid arguments to help carefully construct local air quality regulations in favor of local builders and developers,” said Rayburn.

For more details about the case and the court decision, e-mail Mary Lynn Pickel or call her at 800-368-5242 x8485.
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