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Pacific Lumber Co. v. State Water Resources Control Bd.

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20029
Nos. No. 124464, (Cal., 01/30/2006)

The court holds that the Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act and its implementing regulations do not provide the exclusive mechanism through which regional and state water control boards may address water quality concerns implicated by logging operations associated with a timber harvest plan. After the California Department of Forestry approved a lumber company's timber harvest plan, the water boards issued orders directing a lumber company to adopt a water quality monitoring program. The lumber company argued that the orders were invalid under the Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act because the Act implicitly allocates to the Department of Forestry exclusive responsibility for protecting state waters affected by timber harvesting. The Act's savings clause, however, expressly disclaims any interference with the responsibilities of other agencies, and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act specifically authorizes the water quality monitoring ordered by the water boards in this case.