Going Whole Log
Saying environmentalists and others should have been given a forum to protest new logging rules, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nullified some 100 logging permits yesterday, most of them for southeastern Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The permits allowed companies to run so-called “logging transfer facilities,” aka timber dumps in estuaries or other coastal areas where harvesters bundle logs into rafts and float them to their shipping destinations. Enviros say the resulting wood debris can pollute water in coastal inlets, kill marine life, and ruin coastlines. Two years ago, during the Clinton administration, the U.S. EPA issued new rules that increased the permissible amount of waste, but did not give environmentalists a chance to protest the change. The EPA is reviewing the court’s decision and declined to comment on it.