A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.


ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us Wednesday, April 18th at 12 noon (ET) for a FREE webinar: Examining the Landscape of Agricultural Certainty Programs in the United States. Details available here.


JUDICIAL: 

In FRONT RANGE RESOURCES, LLC, Plaintiff–Appellant/Cross–Appellee v. COLORADO GROUND WATER COMMISSION; Henrylyn Irrigation District; Morgan County Quality Water District; Weldon Valley Ditch Company; Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District; and Irrigationists’ Association, Water District 1, Defendants–Appellees and Lost Creek Land and Cattle Company, LLC; Equus Farms, Inc.; and Lost Creek Ground Water Management District, Defendants–Appellees/Cross–Appellants, Supreme Court Case No. 16SA243, 2018 WL 1703427 (Colo. April 9, 2018), private company with water rights applied for a replacement plan to withdraw ground water from an aquifer “where no ground water is available for appropriation by replacing the withdrawn ground water with other sources of water.” Defendants objected, arguing their water rights would be impaired. Ground Water Commission dismissed plaintiff’s application and appellate court found the replacement plan “trigger[ed] the anti-speculation doctrine,”  which “prohibits changes of water rights . . . based on a speculative sale or where an applicant has not demonstrated a specific plan and intent to put the water to beneficial use.” State Supreme Court affirmed lower court ruling after concluding plaintiff could not “demonstrate how it would put the replacement-plan water to beneficial use.”


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 3979: Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act. Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote.

H.R. 4609: West Fork Fire Station Act of 2017. Text for status Reported by House Committee (Apr 9, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 5133: Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization of 2018. Text for status Reported by House Committee (Apr 9, 2018) is now available.

S. 2634: A bill to free States to spend gas taxes on their transportation priorities. Referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.


REGULATORY: Includes APHIS, EPA, FWS, NOAA and RHS rules and notices.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE: Rule amending the regulations concerning communicable diseases of livestock and poultry, interstate transportation and importation of animals and animal products, and permits for biological products to remove references to the animal disease rinderpest. Details here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: Rule EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the State of Iowa to incorporate an amendment to the Administrative Consent Order (ACO) for Grain Processing Corporation (GPC), Muscatine, Iowa. Details here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Rule that in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 18 to 199, revised as of October 1, 2017, on page 180, in § 23.24, Code “F” is reinstated for Source of specimen “(d) Captive-bred wildlife (§ 23.36):”. Info here.

Notice FWS seeks comment on applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. Info here.

Notice FWS seeks comment on applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. Applicant: Revive and Restore, Sausalito, CA. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule implements an Omnibus Framework Adjustment to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s acceptable biological catch setting process, allows for adoption of peer-reviewed scientific information more quickly, and clarifies language in the Council’s catch control rules. Info here.

Rule NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C-17-02, which was adopted at the 92nd Meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in July 2017. Info here.

Rule NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 117 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), Amendment 106 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and to update the species codes for octopus. Details here.

Rule NMFS proposes management measures for the 2018 summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass recreational fisheries. The implementing regulations for these fisheries require NMFS to publish recreational measures for the fishing year and to provide an opportunity for public comment. Details here.

Notice NMFS has received a request from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) for authorization to take, by harassment, marine mammals incidental to constructing an integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Cook Inlet, Alaska, beginning November 2019 and continuing through October 2024. Info here.

RURAL HOUSING SERVICE: Notice announces a series of teleconference and/or web conference meetings regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH) program, which are scheduled to occur during 2018 and 2019. Info here.