Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle) made the following statement in response to Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling in Decker v. NEDC regarding EPA regulation of forestry roads:
"Wednesday's ruling is a welcome step towards providing the certainty Arkansas's hard-working timber producers desperately need. It rolls back an earlier, misguided, court ruling that would have required a permit for timber roads--impacting not only our timber businesses, but also sportsmen throughout the state.
"However, the Supreme Court failed to repeal the rule issued by the EPA in December 2012 which affirmed federal regulation of the forestry industry. This rule overturned a deep-rooted state/federal partnership that allowed states to manage forest roads and prevent pollution with their own "best practices'.
"Further, with compliance costs in excess of $3 billion, and 105,000 jobs threatened, this rule inflicts unnecessary costs on our economy at a time when we can least afford it. In addition, our timber producers have no guarantee the EPA won't move the goalposts once again and reopen the regulations as they have in the past.
"States have a 40-year track record of effectively regulating these roads; and we should let them continue for at least another 40. Please know I will work with my colleagues in the coming days to restore the state/federal partnership and protect our businesses from any further additional incursions on our state's rights."