Builders Jumped the Gun With River Permit Claim

     (CN) – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., dismissed a building assocation’s challenge to the permitting requirements for two stretches of the Santa Cruz River in Arizona, calling its petition for judicial review “premature.”

     The National Association of Home Builders objected to the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ designation of the waterways as “traditional navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act, claiming the decision exceeded the agencies’ authority and was not supported by evidence.
     The designation places the waters under the EPA’s jurisdiction, which means builders need to obtain permits in order to fill them.
     U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina said it was too soon to review the builders’ challenge, because the Clean Water Act “clearly provides judicial review … in enforcement proceedings, and in actions challenging adverse permitting decisions.”
     “Until then, the agencies must be able to administer the [Clean Water Act] without becoming entangled in premature litigation,” he concluded, granting the agencies’ motion to dismiss.

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