Skip to content

State of Oregon, Timber Industry Appeal Ninth Circuit Ruling on Forest Road Stormwater Pollution

October 11, 2010

The Oregonian and Capital Press are reporting that the Oregon Board of Forestry filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the Court to reconsider its decision that ditches, culverts and channels found on forest roads used to collect and discharge stormwater are point sources that must be regulated under the federal Clean Water Act.  Capital Press also reports that American Forest and Paper Association and the Oregon Forest Industries Council filed a petition of their own seeking review of the case.

The case, which I previously summarized in August, has far reaching implications for state, federal and private forest landowners.  While it is no surprise that the case was appealed, it remains to be seen whether enough Ninth Circuit judges will vote to rehear the case.  As is customary, a three judge panel decided the case last August.  The current petitions ask for a vote from all 47 Ninth Circuit judges to determine whether a larger “en banc,” 11-judge panel should rehear the case.  It takes a majority vote to obtain en banc review.  If the petition is denied, the Oregon Board of Forestry and affected private parties could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Stay tuned.

%d bloggers like this: