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Thomas Gould Authors Guest Column in Evergreen Magazine on Ninth Circuit's Clean Water Act Decision
February 22, 2012
Thomas Gould recently authored a guest column, "Judicial Regulation and Killing Jobs: The Ninth Circuit's Forest Roads' Decision," in Evergreen magazine.

The column provides a summary and in-depth analysis of the potential impact of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' recent decision relating to the Clean Water Act (CWA). In the lawsuit that elicited the decision, the plaintiff argued that precipitation-based runoff from forest roads used for logging activities constituted an industrial (not silvicultural) activity. As such, plaintiffs asserted the runoff would be subject to the CWA's section 402 National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permitting program and requirements.

The Ninth Circuit agreed with plaintiff's argument, and according to Gould, by so doing, defied more than 35 years of regulatory precedent. He contends the Ninth Circuit's decision (unless overturned) will likely affect the continued use of silviculture best management practices, thus weakening overall water quality protection efforts, while, at the same time, killing jobs.

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