9th Circuit bans logging

In a bizarre new ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed decades of precedent and ruled that rainwater is an industrial pollutant, if it ever runs through a pipe or culvert. The case arose from an lawsuit pertaining to culverts that carry water off logging roads.

If the ruling stands (it probably will not) it will require that loggers obtain permits to use any forest road, which will essentially ban the logging industry for a decade:

The U.S. Forest Service reports there are about 378,000 road miles in our national forests and that it will need about 400,000 permits. By the most conservative estimate, adding in state and private forests nearly doubles that number. Other estimates place the total well into the millions. Simply obtaining the Forest Service’s permits will take 10 years.

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