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Real Estate Industry Groups Applaud SCOTUS Ruling on Clean Water Act 

Industry associations on Thursday applauded a U.S. Supreme Court ruling narrowing the applicability of the 1972 Clean Water Act. In deciding Sackett vs. EPA, the court ruled 5-4 that Clean Water Act jurisdiction is limited to wetlands that are “as a practical matter indistinguishable from waters of the United States” and that have a continuous surface connection with that water. It’s a distinction that has been of interest to property developers for decades. 

NAIOP president and CEO Marc Selvitelli said,” For many years, NAIOP has advocated for commonsense regulation to protect our nation’s wetlands that is clear, increases predictability and consistency in EPA and Army Corps of Engineers wetlands decision making, and reduces unnecessary permitting delays. Our most recent comments to the Biden administration’s WOTUS rule reflected this approach.  

“Today’s Supreme Court decision finally clarifies the legal test needed to determine whether a federal wetlands permit is required for a development project,” Selvitelli continued. “This will go a long way to reducing the uncertainty and added costs of delay that were the result of the legal ambiguity that existed.” 

In a joint statement, the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association said, “Today’s decision provides long-awaited certainty for property owners and housing providers and properly curbs federal overreach of what defines Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). The apartment industry strongly supports protecting our water resources, but undue and confusing regulations would exacerbate our nationwide housing affordability crisis.” 


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NAIOPNational Multifamily Housing Council

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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