In 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that runoff from logging roads can be considered water pollution and that loggers need to get permits for those roads under the Clean Water Act. Then the real wrangling began.
The ruling was appealed to the Supreme court. Congress delayed implementation of the requirement. And this past May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it won’t require Clean Water Act permits for logging roads.
The Supreme Court is expected to announce whether or not it will take up this question within the next week, but there’s a good chance it will decline; the Obama Administration’s Solicitor General, which the court asked for guidance, argued that this could be addressed “more definitively and in a more nuanced fashion” by Congress and the EPA.
What are you expecting from the Supreme Court? What are you hoping for from Congress, or the EPA?
- Amelia Templeton: Earthfix reporter based in Medford