Top Forest Service official may be held in contempt of court

The top official at the U.S. Forest Service has some ‘splainin’ to do. Mark Rey may be held in contempt of court and possibly jailed unless the USFS follows through on a court-ordered analysis of the environmental impact of a toxic flame retardant, U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy has ruled. In 2003, ammonium phosphate that was dropped on a wildfire killed 20,000 fish in an Oregon creek. As a result of a lawsuit brought by Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, Molloy ordered the USFS to provide an environmental analysis of the chemical; on the day the review was due, the agency filed for an extension. Unamused, Molloy has ordered Rey to appear in his court in October unless the USFS completes the analysis beforehand, which is unlikely. “The Forest Service cannot disregard the orders regarding the Endangered Species Act,” Molloy wrote. According to Andy Stahl of FSEEE, a little time in the slammer would “coerce future good behavior.” Hey, it worked for Paris Hilton.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.