WASHINGTON, DC, June 28, 2016 – The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its decision against further regulation of forest roads under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“Forest owners are pleased EPA exercised its broad discretion under the CWA by keeping management of water quality programs at the local level through state Best Management Practices (BMPs),” said Dave Tenny, NAFO President and CEO. “BMPs are a proven tool for protecting the quality of our nation’s rivers and streams while taking into account the diversity of forest landscapes.”
In 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit directed EPA to provide an appropriate rational for any decision not to regulate stormwater discharges from forest roads. Today’s decision by EPA satisfies that order.
In 2014, Congress included in the final Farm Bill a provision that forest roads and forest management continue to be regulated through state BMPs under the CWA. The action ended litigation that began in an Oregon district court in 2006. Congress did not address EPA’s authority to adopt a regulatory program for stormwater discharges, although it saw no need for regulatory action. Today’s decision by EPA is aligned with this 2014 congressional action.
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