Regulations Still a Problem for Builders: NAHB

Washington, DC, March 14, 2013 -- Federal agencies are circumventing the intent and the letter of a law to make the regulatory process more cost effective and less burdensome for small businesses, the National Association of Home Builders told Congress.

As a result, NAHB said the regulatory process continues to unnecessarily increase compliance costs and is acting as a drag on the housing and economic recovery.

Testifying on behalf of NAHB before the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations, Kansas home builder Carl Harris said compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires federal agencies to review regulations for their impact on small businesses and consider less burdensome alternatives, continues to fall far short of the act’s objective.

“Federal agencies often view compliance as largely a procedural function during the federal rulemaking process and not – as Congress intended – an opportunity to reduce the burden of regulations on small businesses,” said Harris, who has participated in the regulatory process.

“When federal agencies are unprepared to provide small business review panelists with the information and data necessary to evaluate the costs and compliance obligations, the process breaks down.”

Harris specifically cited The 2008 Occupational Safety and Health Administration Cranes and Derricks Construction Rule; Stormwater discharges; and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.

“Unfortunately, all too often federal agencies view compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act as either a technicality of the federal rulemaking process or, worse yet, as unnecessary,” Harris said. “I urge Congress to seek out ways to improve agency compliance with this law.”

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