Jaime Herrera Beutler | Congresswoman for the 3rd District of Washington
Jaime Herrera Beutler, Bipartisan Group of House and Senate Lawmakers Introduce Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act
Washington, May 16 ‐
A bipartisan group of senators and U.S. House members today introduced bills to provide certainty to forestry companies and workers, by reaffirming the Environmental Protection Agency’s 37‐year‐old policy toward regulation of runoff from forest roads.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D‐Ore., Senator Mike Crapo, R‐ Idaho, and Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler, R‐Wash., and Kurt Schrader, D‐Ore., introduced the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act today.
The bill would aid efforts to increase timber harvests and forestry jobs by preventing unnecessary litigation on a question that the U.S. Supreme Court settled in the EPA’s favor earlier this year. The bill, like the Supreme Court decision, upholds the EPA’s existing policy, which does not require water discharge permits for forest roads.
Despite the EPA and Supreme Court decisions, however, some groups have promised to continue litigation, which will needlessly delay needed forest restoration work without action by Congress.
Senators Max Baucus, D‐Mont., and James Risch, R‐Idaho, and Representatives John Barrow, D‐Georgia, Dan Benishek, R‐Mich., Sanford Bishop, D‐Georgia, Tom Cotton, R‐Ark., Jeff Duncan, R‐S.C., Doc Hastings, R‐Wash., Walter B. Jones, R‐N.C., Jack Kingston, R‐Georgia., Rick Larsen, D‐Wash., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R‐Wash., Michael Michaud, D‐Maine, Collin Peterson, D‐Minn., Nick Rahall, D‐W.V., Reid Ribble, R‐Wisc., Terri Sewell, D‐Ala., Mike Simpson, R‐Idaho, and Glenn “GT” Thompson, R‐Penn. are original cosponsors of the measure.
WYDEN: “We need a healthy timber industry to provide timber jobs and to do the restoration work that ensures healthy forests. The way to do that is to stop litigating questions that have already been answered, and start working together to improve forest management practices. This bill will reaffirm the determination by both EPA and the Supreme Court that forest roads and other silviculture activities are not open to more litigation over water discharge permits under the Clean Water Act.”
CRAPO: “The jobs and economic activities relating to the forest products industry are critical to Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. The decision to change a 37‐year‐old program that deferred the regulation of logging road runoff to individual states has brought increased hardships causing job losses and jeopardizing our rural communities. This bipartisan legislation will clarify that the Clean Water Act was