November 11, 2013
The Honorable Robert Hurt
United States House of Representatives
125 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Hurt:
On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, thank you for introducing H.R. 2937, the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act. The legislation would make it easier for economic development sites to move forward by allowing development projects to go forward with Clean Water Act permitting without a certain end user of the site.
Small businesses are begging for regulations that are sensible and help foster, not inhibit, economic growth. Unfortunately, too often regulations prevent economic opportunity from getting off the ground. In fact, in our most recent NFIB Small Business Economic Trends, small business owners cited “government requirements and red tape” as the single most-important problem facing their business – ranking ahead of taxes and poor sales.
The Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act is a sound step toward making the Clean Water Act permitting process less burdensome. Simply, the Act would prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from holding up permit applications in cases where the developer lacks a committed end-user company as long as all other legal requirements are met. Importantly, this legislation maintains all the environmental protections Congress intended under the Clean Water Act.
A number of economic development sites are in areas that have sustained long periods of economic difficulty. Unfortunately, many of these sites have been held up for years because the developer has been unable to find a company willing to commit to the site until it is closer to completion. Developing these sites will help draw employers, including small businesses, to areas where they are sorely needed.
NFIB applauds your introduction of the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act, and looks forward to working with you to help ensure that this common-sense legislation becomes law.
Senior Vice President