Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Jaime Herrera Beutler’s “Forest Roads” legislation, a pro-jobs initiative she has championed since coming to Congress that would protect the nation’s forest roads from costly and unnecessary regulatory burdens and lawsuits. The provision codifies 40 years of Clean Water Act treatment of forest roads and was included as an amendment offered by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM Bill). The amendment was approved unopposed.
In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court directed the EPA to require dirt and rock runoff from private forest logging roads be permitted the same as an industrial parking lot. While the decision was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court, private forest owners were still at risk for future regulations and frivolous lawsuits without a legislative fix. Jaime has partnered with Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and a strong bipartisan group of her House and Senate colleagues to push this bill that would help protect the 110,000 jobs supported by working forests in Washington state alone.
“Our working forests are so critical to the livelihoods and communities of Southwest Washington, so I’m very pleased that our ‘forest roads’ initiative was approved in the House today,” said Jaime. “For nearly 40 years the EPA has used sound science and a common sense approach when it comes to forest roads regulations—and my bill allows this approach to continue. We are getting closer and closer to putting this job-saving solution into law once and for all.”