Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its intention today to revise their national stormwater regulations to clarify that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required for stormwater discharges from logging roads:
"While this is a step in the right direction, it's far from the outcome we need. While the EPA's decision shows that we all agree on the right policy outcome (Best Management Practices, not permits), their insistence that the only way to achieve this outcome with certainly is through legislation or the courts will continue to stifle job creation and hinder growth in the timber industry. We need a firm ruling from the EPA that 35 years of federal environmental policy will be upheld and that forest stormwater runoff produced during logging will continue to be regulated by state forestry laws, not by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA)."
In 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that forest stormwater runoff produced during logging must be regulated by the CWA -- a flawed decision, especially at a time of so much economic suffering. Last year, the court reaffirmed its decision in a final ruling.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers is an original cosponsor of H.R. 2541, the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act, a bipartisan bill that would restore the federal government's previous policy under CWA and protect jobs.