|October 17, 2011
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has joined 24 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a flawed decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that overturns more than 30 years of best management practices for stormwater runoff from silviculture, the growing and harvesting of trees. The amicus brief was filed today by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The brief argues that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision invalidates EPA’s Silvicultural Rule and incorrectly claims that timber harvesting constitutes “industrial activity” when it is, in fact, agricultural.
“Congress has held that states are the appropriate entities to determine best management practices for protecting our waters and wildlife from stormwater runoff related to timber harvesting. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling contradicts more than 30 years of practice and Congress’ and the EPA’s directives,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
For over 30 years, Congress and the EPA have determined that stormwater runoff from forest roads is best regulated by state-level best practices, rather than through costly and time-consuming environmental permits. The Ninth Circuit’s decision would overturn that more than 30-year practice and require the EPA to impose additional permitting requirements for timber harvesting operations and related forest road construction.
Twenty-five states filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the State of Oregon’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the case of Decker et al v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center. The 25 states include: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.