Here’s a news story…
Here’s the first sentence…
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with timber interests in a dispute over the regulation of runoff from logging roads in western forests.
It also sided with EPA in a D administration, who had just shoved a stick in their eye by issuing a surprise regulation on the eve of the Supreme Court taking the case… Just sayin’
But this is one of those cases.. what is the point here? More regulatory paperwork? Or is there some specific issue that relates to BMP’s not working? If so, what is it? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have a meeting (open to the public) to discuss the specific water quality concerns, than to spend all the bucks to take the case to the Supreme Court? Unless folks just want to do it for the glory.. but it’s not glorious to lose, or is it?
Justice Scalia in his dissenting opinion agreed that the discharges from forest roads, aside from those four activities that have always required a permit gravel crushing etc., should not require a permit or that logging be classified as an industrial activity, but he did not like that the Court was asked to determine the intent of the EPA in their rule saying, “It is time for us to presume (to coin a phrase) that an agency says in a rule what it means, and means in a rule what it says there.”
Could someone explain why courts should determine what EPA meant by their rule? Or is it more complex than that?
Sometimes I think we need an Extension Service-like group to explain all these legal issues to the public. Maybe some law school will volunteer to run one as a pro bono effort?
Oh, and I guess The Northwest Environmental Defense Center filed a challenge to the new EPA rule on January 24th in the US Ninth Circuit. Is that the about the same thing? It seems very confusing.
Finally, I should add that I am a proud member of, and a volunteer with, the Society of American Foresters, who filed an amicus brief in this case.
But they were only one among many notable groups who did..
Here’s a link to see them all.
Of all the industries in the U.S. with all the environmental impacts they have, one has to wonder why this was it was so important to go after this one.. I’d like to hear someone (I know I keep asking this) articulate why they did this and what they hoped to accomplish, and why they picked this particular battle instead of the many others we might be able to imagine. In English, not legalese, and describing desired changes to the environment (Physical World).