U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Case

In a break with longstanding EPA policy, the 9th Circuit has issued an opinion declaring that stormwater discharges from forest roads are regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permitting process.  Historically, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has considered runoff of rain from forest roads outside of the scope of NPDES permitting, and it has been left to individual states to control runoff by implementing best management practices (“BMPs”). 

If the Supreme Court upholds the 9th Circuit ruling, the EPA’s longstanding position that runoff from forest roads does not require permits will be invalidated, and forest roads will come under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.

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