The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing revisions to its Phase I Storm Water Regulations to clarify that storm water discharges from logging roads do not constitute storm water discharge associated with industrial activity that require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit.

The proposed rule is in response to a 2011, 9th Circuit case which held that discharges from logging roads are industrial storm water discharges requiring NPDES permits.  The proposed rule would clarify that NPDES permits apply only to silvaculture facilities that are engaged in crushing rock, gravel washing, log sorting and log storage activities.  The EPA has requested that public comments be submitted on the proposed rule by October 4, 2012.