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Todd Gartner, World Resources Institute, tgartner@wri.org (Presenter)

 

This project addresses a critical need by illustrating the role of certification in water quality protection. On the one hand, in the event that the Supreme Court upholds the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that forest roads are point sources under the CWA, this project will ensure among policymakers a robust understanding of the pollution reduction achieved in certified forests, with the goal of helping to inform the effluent limitation standards set by EPA. No matter the final details of EPA effluent limitations, this project will help forest managers to understand how employing forest certification practices can help them to effectively achieve those limitations required by their NPDES permit. Throughout the project, the team will give special attention to forest roads and associated stormwater management systems, including their best practices and the role and effectiveness of forest certification standards in limiting pollution from these sources. On the other hand, in the event that the ruling is overturned by the Supreme Court, or if Congress passes legislation to explicitly categorize forest roads as nonpoint sources, this project will help forest managers to understand how employing forest certification standards can help them to achieve improvements in water quality or quantity that may be bankable in a payments for watershed services (PWS) scheme. The project will also advance an understanding of how forest certification complements government initiatives to protect water resources.