"Court: Can EPA Regulate Mud From Logging Roads?"

"GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The timber industry is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will maintain business as usual on controlling muddy water running off logging roads into salmon streams."

"The high court decided Monday to take up a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that federal regulators should treat stormwater on industrial timberlands the same as pollution discharged from a factory, changing the longstanding practice that treats it like water coming off farm fields.

The ruling on an Oregon case would apply to logging roads on state, private and national forest lands throughout the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, which covers much of the West. Most of the roads are graveled, but some are paved or bare dirt.

Tom Partin, president of the American Forest Resource Council, said increased regulation would cost money and offer conservation groups new opportunities for blocking logging without producing any cleaner water."

Jeff Barnard reports for the Associated Press June 25, 2012.

Source: AP, 06/26/2012