(CNN) — A last-minute and unexpected change in government rules over a key environmental dispute prompted uncertainty and consternation at the Supreme Court on Monday, with justices chastising the Obama administration over its policy tactics.
Final rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday exempted logging road runoff from storm water permit requirements, saying timber firms may continue to use “best management practices” that suit local conditions.
The change came just ahead of Monday’s oral arguments on one of two cases this week dealing with the financial and health effects of storm water drainage.
“Maybe in the future you could let us know when something as definite as that comes” at the last minute, Chief Justice John Roberts told the Justice Department’s lawyer.
Roberts suggested that arguments could have been delayed so that the court and both sides of the case could prepare.
Read more at CNN. By Bill Mears.