Scientists have found that sediment in salmon streams, which has been clogging areas where the fish lay eggs, is coming from industrial logging roads, and is a leading cause of habitat loss, reports Jeff Barnard of The Associated Press. The Northwest Environmental Defense Center in Portland, Ore., brought the case against the state Department of Forestry. The appeals court ruled in 2010 that muddy water from logging roads requires a Clean Water Act permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Supreme Court was asked to take up the case from Oregon and 25 other states.
The EPA proposed revised storm-water regulations that would not require logging roads to get the same permits as factories, and regulate them under a less strict system known as "Best Management Practices," in which guidelines for design and maintenance of roads would be set up by the states. The agency has started review of these practices, and plans to issue new rules for logging roads in September. (Read more)