Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Changes To Requirements For Logging Roads Proposed

In a May 23 Notice of Intent (NOI), EPA published its intend to propose revisions to stormwater regulations for logging roads. Under the proposal, storm water discharges from logging roads are not discharges "associated with industrial activity," meaning a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required for such discharges. EPA issued the NOI is in response to a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that certain logging roads are stormwater point sources “associated with industrial activity.”

EPA is also seeking comments on water quality impacts associated with discharges of stormwater from forest roads. EPA says that where best management practices are used, waters that receive runoff from forest roads can be protected. However, if not properly managed, stormwater discharges from some forest roads can cause preventable impairments to water quality. EPA plans to study the water quality impacts of forest roads along with existing federal, state, tribal, and voluntary programs designed to address them to determine if additional action is necessary.

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 section allows EPA to consider a range of regulatory and nonregulatory approaches and determine which forest road discharges (if any) should be regulated under the CWA.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address Stormwater Permitting & Regulatory Support, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), Stormwater Monitoring and Stormwater Training.
For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

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