DOJ Advises Supreme Court to Pass On Oregon Logging Roads Case

Jun 1, 2012

The Supreme Court is being advised not to take on a controversial logging pollution lawsuit that began in Oregon. Amelia Templeton explains.

The lawsuit started with a simple question. If a pipe channels dirty water from a logging road directly into a stream, is that industrial pollution?

Mark Riskedahl is with the Northwest Environmental Law Center, which filed the lawsuit. He says yes.

Riskedahl: “If there was regulation of pollution coming off of highways and off of even residential streets, why shouldn’t there be regulation of pollution coming off of industrial logging roads.”

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that some logging road runoff was pollution. The state of Oregon and timber companies disagreed, and asked the Supreme Court to consider the case. The court asked the Justice Department for advice. Federal lawyers responded last week. They told the court to leave it to Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency, to sort the issue out.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio