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Logging case goes before US Supreme Court

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case that affects logging road construction and how water runoff is handled.

Currently the runoff is considered to be like water running off a farm field.

But a lawsuit originated by the Northwest Environmental Defense Center in Portland says the runoff requires the same sort of permit a factory needs.

The center sued the Oregon Department of Forestry over roads on the Tillamook State Forest that drain into salmon streams. The center lost in federal court in Portland but won on appeal. The Oregon Department of Forestry and Georgia Pacific-West appealed to the Supreme Court, and 31 states threw in with them.

The timber industry says requiring permits would cost timberland owners and logging companies too much money.

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