Klamath Basin Water
Upholding Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
By DAVID KRAVETS The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Timber
companies that engage in forest logging should be
required to obtain federal stormwater pollution
permits, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has misconstrued the
1972 federal Cleanwater Act by exempting logging
companies from going through the permitting process
for stormwater runoff.
Runoff of dirt, debris and chemicals is a major
pollutant in rivers and harms fish and wildlife.
The Tuesday ruling was based on a lawsuit brought by
the Environmental Protection Information Center and
other groups against the EPA and a Pacific Lumber
Co. logging operation in California's Humboldt
County. The groups charged that Pacific Lumber was
violating the Clean Water Act in the same manner as
a factory that dumps pollutants into a river without
``This case is about requiring the same permitting
that has been applied to most other industries for
polluted storm water,'' said Mike Lozeau, an
attorney working with the Environmental Protection
Jim Branham, a Pacific Lumber spokesman, said the
Northern California logging concern was considering
its legal options, including appealing the ruling to
the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San
``Obviously, we're concerned that her ruling, which
seems to take the position that culverts, ditches
and other kinds of conveyances on forest lands are
point sources like pipes out of a factory. It's very
disappointing,'' Branham said. ``If, ultimately,
that decision becomes the law of the land, it will
create complete chaos.''
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