National Forest Legal News Blog


U.S. Supreme Court Requests Briefing In NEDC v. Brown

Posted by nationalforestlawblog on December 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM

On December 12, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order inviting the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views fo the United States in NEDC v. Brown.  This case is pending on a cert petition after the Ninth Circuit held that stormwater runoff from logging roads is a point source for pollution for which an NPDES permit is required.  The case has the timber industry (and common sense) lining up against environmental groups looking to put any type of additional obstacles in their way.  You can read more on this development at

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1 Comment

Reply John Persell
06:48 PM on January 24, 2012 
The language of the CWA was found to be at odds with EPA's interpretation by the Ninth Circuit. The plaintiffs showed that logging road runoff increases sedimentation of streams and slows the recovery of salmon and trout populations. Isn't it better for all involved in the long run to have more certainty about how the CWA will be applied going forward, and also more credibility for government enforcement or lack thereof?

Granted, the three judges sitting on the panel were appointed by President Clinton, so I suppose many might assume they are liberal, activist judges, but as you pointed out in a previous post, none of the conservative judges on the bench suggested the case should be re-heard. A legislative amendment to the CWA may or may not occur. But if the timber industry successful gets a legislative exemption, will other industries pursue such exemptions? Where do we draw the line?