Nonprofit sues the Forest Service over fire retardant in water bodies
A nonprofit organization made up of past and current U.S. Forest Service employees is suing the agency. The complaint filed by Forest Service Employees For Environmental Ethics accuses the federal agency of violating the Clean Water Act by dumping fire retardant into water bodies.
The complaint was filed Tuesday in federal court in Montana.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service says it is agency policy to not comment on pending or ongoing litigation.
Andy Stahl, the nonprofit’s executive director, says this is the organization’s third lawsuit against the Forest Service regarding fire retardant.
“The Forest Service view is, it’s sort of a war — We’re waging war here, against fire. And when you wage war, you don’t let the niceties of law get in the way.”
The nonprofit’s complaint says that for seven years the Forest Service dumped more than 761,000 gallons of retardant into water bodies on public land.
The nonprofit is asking a federal judge to declare the U.S. Forest Service violated the Clean Water Act and require the agency comply with it.