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AF&PA Responds to Solicitor General's Recommendation in Forest Roads Case

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) filed today a request for U.S. Supreme Court review or summary reversal of the Ninth Circuit court decision to require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for logging activity on forest roads.

The Ninth Circuit court’s decision overturned EPA’s 35-year approach to managing runoff from forest roads.  The U.S. Solicitor General admitted that the Ninth Circuit’s decision was wrong.  However, he also concluded that Supreme Court review is not necessary, because EPA intends to issue regulations to provide flexible approaches to managing forest road runoff.

“The fact that EPA may finalize regulations in the future is no reason to allow the Ninth Circuit’s decision to stand.  In fact, leaving the decision in place will require EPA to develop a rule around what the U.S. agrees is wrongly-decided law,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.  “Forest landowners and others in the supply chain still are faced with the reality that any administrative action by EPA will take months if not years to be put in place and will be open to court challenge."

“We believe that the best means of providing much-needed certainty to the situation is a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling.  Without Supreme Court intervention, there will be considerable confusion as states and EPA attempt to sort out how to comply.  This only perpetuates an atmosphere of uncertainty, which is harmful to our industry and its 900,000 employees that depend on a steady supply of fiber to make products essential for everyday life,” Harman concluded.

As an alternative to Supreme Court review or summary reversal, AF&PA asked the Supreme Court to consider delaying a decision on the case until EPA has issued its rulemaking.


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