The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
The Obama Administration announced on Sept. 2 that it has decided to pull back on proposed new national smog standards that would have compelled states and communities nationwide to reduce local air pollution or face federal penalties in coming years.
The rescinded rule, which NAHB actively opposed, would essentially have forced every major housing market in the country to put together costly plans to reduce emissions in the near future.
NAHB submitted official comments against the proposal, and along with a number of industry groups and states, filed a petition for review on May 27, 2008, challenging the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) as overly stringent.
In its comments, NAHB argued that the ozone NAAQS would have marked a setback for consumers, small businesses and state and local governments by delaying the completion of key transportation infrastructure and housing projects and impeding overall economic growth.
NAHB members and the overall housing market — which is currently the hardest-hit sector in the U.S. economy — would have clearly been adversely affected by the additional rules and regulations that state and local governments would have been required to adopt.
Under the inevitable confusion and paperwork burdens that would have been imposed by the standards, builders and developers would have been forced to wait for new state implementation plans and conformity decisions to be approved, and then they would have had to negotiate land use allowances that were consistent with the new requirements.
In his statement, President Obama cited “the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.”
The President added that, “work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.”
For more information, email Matt Watkins at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8327.