The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to consider a lawsuit the National Association of Home Builders filed challenging whether air pollution agencies could charge the fees, reported the San Jose Mercury News.
The case stems from the Fresno-based San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s decision in 2005 to approve a new rule mandating that developers pay to offset the pollution caused by their construction equipment, the newspaper reported. The fees also were designed to help pay for traffic impacts generated by their projects, and encourage “smart growth” along transit corridors.
Government agencies long have been allowed to charge developers fees for the effects of their projects on schools, parks, sewer systems and roads. However, the San Joaquin Valley agency’s push to extend that to air pollution was new. The National Association of Home Builders sued the agency. They lost on the district level and at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case is considered a victory for air pollution regulators and environmental groups, opening the door for others to adopt a similar rule, according to the article.
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