1. On October 9, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a national stay blocking the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the US Rule (WOTUS). Since its original proposal, multiple lawsuits have been filed in eight federal venues against the EPA the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ final rule on WOTUS. The lawsuits allege through the WOTUS rule, that the agencies are violating the U.S. Constitution, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Clean Water Act.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The Court found that a stay was necessary due to the mass complexity and uncertainty created by the NECA-opposed rule. The court further said that the stay is intended to preserve the “policy of cooperative federalism that informs the Clean Water Act and must attend the shared responsibility for safeguarding the nation’s waters.“ While this new stay is temporary, it is effective in all 50 states until the Court can hear arguments from both sides and rule accordingly.
2. Last week, NECA signed onto a letter to the House in support of renewing three energy-efficient building tax extenders: Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit (IRC Sec. 25C); Energy Efficient New Home Tax Credit (IRC Sec. 45L); Commercial Building Tax Deduction (IRC Sec. 179D).
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA has been advocating for making the tax extenders permanent to provide certainty to NECA contractors working on energy efficient projects.
3. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced a markup of its multi-year highway and transit proposal will be held on Thursday, October 22. This legislation does not include a funding mechanism to match the policy proposals. NECA signed onto a letter with the Transportation Construction Coalition urging the House Ways and Means Committee to fund the House's proposal at the same level of the Senate bill, at minimum.
NECA’s Look Ahead: With the markup scheduled for one week before transportation authority expires on October 29th, this timeline all but guarantees another short-term extension. NECA remains hopeful that the changes in House leadership will not derail passage of a much-awaited multi-year highway bill.