"U.S. EPA is writing rules that would require pollution-discharge permits for the muddy runoff from logging roads -- regulations mandated by a court ruling that sparked bipartisan political backlash."
"The agency recently sent a draft notice of its intent to regulate logging-road runoff to the White House Office of Management and Budget. EPA said it would seek public comment on several options before proceeding with the formal rulemaking.
At issue, EPA said, is a controversial 2010 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that tossed out the agency's 35-year-old policy of allowing loggers to use best management practices instead of pollution-discharge permits.
Trying to soothe its critics, EPA said in a statement that it is considering "flexible" options -- including some that would require no permit -- in recognition of some land-management practices in use to minimize the water pollution from forest roads."