Supreme Court allows new briefings on forest roads case

Author: Mike Williams | Posted: 1/15/2013
The Supreme Court has agreed to receive briefs in a case it heard last month regarding permitting requirements for forest logging roads. This follows the Court's consideration last month of a 2010 case from the Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, which determined that logging trucks should not be exempt from NPDES permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act, and ruled that storm water from roadside culverts does not fall under the umbrella of "natural runoff." Historically, these logging trucks have not been regulated.
The supplemental briefs to the Supreme Court follow a rule finalized by EPA that held runoff from logging roads is exempt from the CWA permitting requirements. EPA's rule was finalized days before the Supreme Court heard the case.  Petitioners opposed to the ruling of the 9th Circuit, including the State of Oregon, argued the Court should consider additional information in light of the rule making, and encouraged the Court to still rule on aspects of the case.