EPA Issues Notice of Intent to Revise Stormwater Regulations to Specify that an NPDES Permit is not Required for Stormwater Discharges from Logging Roads
The EPA announced that it intends to propose revisions to its Phase I stormwater regulations to clarify that stormwater discharges from forest roads are not stormwater discharges "associated with industrial activity." This notice is in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which found in Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown that certain logging roads are "associated with industrial activity." Additionally, in response to the partial remand under Environmental Defense Center Inc. v. EPA, the Agency is seeking comment on approaches for addressing water quality impacts associated with discharges of stormwater from forest roads.
EPA believes that stormwater discharges from forest roads should be evaluated under section 402(p)(6) of the Clean Water Act because the section allows for a broad range of flexible approaches that are well-suited to address the complexity of forest road ownership, management, and use. The EPA intends to study the water quality impacts of forest roads and existing federal, state, tribal, and voluntary programs designed to address them to determine if additional Agency action is necessary. The EPA will seek comment again prior to taking final action. EPA also plans to hold listening sessions to obtain stakeholder input this summer on its consideration of how best to address stormwater discharges from forest roads.EPA will accept written comments for 90 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register. For more information on the plan to address stormwater discharges from forest roads: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/forestroads.
Source: US EPA