American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement today in response to the Solicitor General’s position that U.S. Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit decision on forest roads permitting is not necessary.
“While we are pleased that EPA has confirmed that runoff from logging roads should be addressed using flexible approaches rather than Clean Water Act permits, we are disappointed that the Solicitor General has taken the position that U.S. Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit decision is not necessary, even though he admits it is erroneous.
“Despite EPA’s best intentions, it likely will take years to put a regulatory solution that withstands legal challenge in place. EPA’s proposed solution will be litigated before the Ninth Circuit, which already failed to defer to EPA’s authority when it overturned EPA’s 35-year regulation exempting forest roads from permitting requirements. In the meantime, the issue will remain open to litigation, which affects everyone down the fiber supply chain. Such an atmosphere of uncertainty will make it difficult for businesses to operate, ultimately affecting jobs in rural communities across the country. The best means of providing much-needed certainty is a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling or legislation.”