WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court today heard arguments in the case seeking to invalidate the Ninth Circuit court decision in (NEDC v. Brown), which overturned the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) long-standing exemption of stormwater runoff from forest logging roads from Clean Water Act "point source" permitting.
"In taking the case, the Supreme Court appears to have heard our concerns about the Ninth Circuit's ruling and the resulting uncertainty, increased litigation and costs to landowners, and related disruption to the fiber supply chain," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "We are hopeful that after careful consideration of the arguments presented today that the Court will vacate the Ninth Circuit decision and return to the long-standing best management practices already in place in the states."
On Friday, the EPA issued a final rule exempting logging roads runoff from stormwater permit requirements, which has been successfully regulated for 35 years through state best management practices that are adapted to local conditions.
"While AF&PA understands EPA's goals in issuing the rule, we believe it is premature as the Supreme Court needs to complete its review of the matter, which could eliminate the need for any rulemaking and avoid continued litigation in the future," said Harman.
The American Forest & Paper Association is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners. Our companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources that sustain the environment. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $190 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org.
SOURCE American Forest & Paper Association