The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center on March 20, 2013 was widely hailed by the timber industry and owners and operators of logging roads throughout the West. The Court reversed a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that would have required Clean Water Act permits for stormwater running off logging roads. The timber industry had warned that such a regulatory requirement would cause regulatory chaos.
Stoel Rives represented several timber industry clients, including the Oregon Forest Industries Council, throughout the district court and Ninth Circuit proceedings, and helped prepare the petition for Supreme Court review.
The day after the decision, Jason Morgan wrote about it on the Stoel Rives Mineral Law blog. Media coverage has included:
Timber industry celebrates Supreme Court decision on logging roads
In an interview with The Oregonian, Stoel Rives attorney Greg Corbin noted how the Supreme Court cited Oregon's "extensive effort" to institute best management practices for stormwater runoff involving logging roads. "I think that's a comment from the court saying that these kinds of [local] rules are doing the job they're supposed to do," Corbin said.
Published by The Oregonian, March 20, 2013. Read the full article at the website.
Stoel Rives, Oregon claim Supreme Court logging win
In Sustainable Business Oregon, a Portland Business Journal publication, Per Ramfjord, the lead Stoel Rives attorney in the case, expressed satisfaction with the ruling. "The biggest win for us is that the ruling means we don't have to go ahead and get (National Pollutant Discharge System) permits to do the type of logging activity we've done in the past," he said. "We're not going to have the extraordinary cost of getting those permits, the delays and litigation associated with that and potential job loss in the industry going with that kind of expense and delay in litigation."
Published by Sustainable Business Oregon, March 21, 2013. Read the full article at the website. Subscription required.
Stoel Rives Clients Win as Supreme Court Rejects Logging Road Stormwater Permit Requirement
The Alaska Business Monthly republished the Stoel Rives press release reporting on the Supreme Court's ruling, including comments by Stoel Rives attorney Per Ramfjord. "We are extremely gratified by the Supreme Court's decision," he stated. "Our clients felt strongly that the law and regulatory precedent were firmly in their favor, and we believe the Court's 7-1 decision reflects that."
Published by the Alaska Business Monthly, March 21, 2013. Read the full article at the website.