Ninth Circuit Upends the CWA Applecart - NR&E | Winter 2011
This article discusses the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown, in which the court invalidated EPA's regulation exempting logging roads from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. The decision is significant because it changes years of settled law regarding forest roads, affects potentially hundreds of thousands of miles of roads, and reflects the courts' general disapproval of categorical exemptions from Clean Water Act requirements. The appeals in this case will be closely watched.