NASF statement on EPA forest roads decision

Science-based, best management practices offer effective water quality protections.

WASHINGTON—The National Association of State Foresters applauds the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision this week that recognizes additional federal regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA) are not needed to address stormwater discharges from forest roads.

EPA was under a court order to provide a rationale for not regulating stormwater discharges from forest roads and conducted a thorough review. In its decision EPA cites an NASF report documenting that forestry best management practices (BMP) implementation rates average 91 percent nationwide and are effective in protecting water quality when implemented.  EPA also cites a Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) report and regional BMP monitoring protocols developed by SGSF and endorsed by the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF).

EPA’s decision affirms that state BMPs are effective measures for water quality protection.

Jay Farrell, executive director of the National Association of State Foresters said today:

“State forestry agencies applaud the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision not to pursue additional regulations for stormwater discharges from forest roads.  State Foresters agree with the decision that additional federal regulation is not necessary, would be duplicative of existing programs, and could divert resources away from currently successful on-the-ground stream protection efforts.

“BMPs are effective and practical measures implemented to protect water quality when undertaking forestry activities. These programs have been evaluated, tested, revised, and adapted over time by each state.

“State BMP programs are vital to enable forests to serve as the nation’s source of clean water.  State Foresters welcome the EPA’s intention to form an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders on this topic, and to bring federal resources to bear in supporting successful state programs. State Foresters remain committed to using a science-based approach to improve these efforts. NASF looks forward to continuing to work with EPA to enhance existing programs.”

Contact: Amanda Cooke, NASF Communications Director at acooke@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417


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