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


ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us Thursday, April 20, at 12 noon (ET) for an Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar: Ag Taxation & Reform 101:  What You Need to Know. Details available here.


JUDICIAL: Includes easement, CAFO, and biosecurity issues.

In ENBRIDGE ENERGY, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Rochelle M. FRY, Doug Riecke, John Riecke, Non-Record Claimants and Unknown Owners, Defendants-Appellants, and Bernadette A. Lamore, Anya M. Bauer, Non-Record Claimants and Unknown Owners, Defendants-Appellants, No. 3-15-0765, 2017 IL App (3d) 150765 (Ill. App. Ct. April 6, 2017), plaintiff brought a condemnation suit to obtain easement rights over farmland to build an underground pipeline. Defendants (landowners) opposed the suit for condemnation and filed a traverse motion. Trial court denied the motion and a directed verdict was entered for plaintiff regarding amount of just compensation it was to pay landowners. Landowners appealed, but trial court judgment was affirmed.

WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE, et al., Petitioners v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, Respondent, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, et al., Intervenors, No. 09-1017, Consolidated with 09-1104, 2017 WL 1323525 (D.D.C. April 11, 2017) concerned 2008 EPA rule that “generally exempts farms from CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste.” Issue here was whether agencies have “implied de minimis authority to create even certain categorical exceptions to a statute ‘when the burdens of regulation yield a gain of trivial or no value.’ ” Court considered whether the record “adequately supports the EPA’s conclusion that these animal-waste reports are truly ‘unnecessary.’” Petitioners (environmentalists) argued the reports at issue “provide benefits, in the sense of furthering the regulatory objectives.” Court concluded the reports “aren’t nearly as useless as the EPA makes them out to be,” and granted plaintiff’s petition and vacated the rule.

STATE OF WISCONSIN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. JOHN D. WALKER, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT, Appeal No. 2016AP1434, 2017 WL 1326117 (Wis. Ct. App. April 11, 2017) concerned whether a deer hunter “had a purpose to hunt” when he placed bait on his land. At issue was Wisconsin statute requiring the State “to show that a person intended to hunt over the bait or feed material” that they place. State argued “the plain language of the baiting regulations provides that a person not place bait where baiting and feeding are prohibited.” Court concluded applicable statute requires the State “to prove not only that bait or feed material was placed or used, but also that the person’s purpose for doing so was to hunt wild animals or train dogs.” Affirmed for defendant.


REGULATORY: Includes APHIS, EPA, FNS, FS, GIPSA, ITS, NIST, and NOAA rules and notices.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE: Notice APHIS will extend its determination of nonregulated status of InVigor® MS8 canola to Bayer’s canola event MS11. Details here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of monoethanolamine when used as a solvent in pesticides applied to growing crops and raw agricultural commodities after harvest limited to a maximum concentration of 3.35% by weight in the pesticide formulation. Info here.

Rule EPA will approve a request from the state of Tennessee for EPA to relax the federal Reid Vapor Pressure standard applicable to gasoline. Details here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE:

Notice invites comment on a proposed information collection. Title: Child Nutrition Database. Info here.

Notice invites comment on a proposed information collection. Title: Report of Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefit Issuances and Report of Commodity Distribution for Disaster Relief. Details here.

FOREST SERVICE:

Notice FS has participated as a cooperating agency with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the preparation of the WB XPress Environmental Assessment. Info here.

Notice the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas is initiating the first phase of the forest planning process pursuant to the 2012 National Forest System land management planning rule. Details here.

GRAIN INSPECTION, PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ADMINISTRATION:

Rule GIPSA is delaying the effective date of the rule published on December 20, 2016, for an additional six months to October 19, 2017. Details here.

Rule sets forth the USDA’s intention to pursue one of several actions on the above titled Interim Final Rule published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016, by GIPSA. Info here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice that on October 12, 2016, the Department of Commerce published the preliminary results of the administrative review and new shipper review of the antidumping duty order on freshwater crawfish tail meat from China. Details here.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:

Notice the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction will hold an open meeting via a cloud-based video conference on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Info here.

Notice the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction will meet on Monday, July 24, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time and Tuesday, July 25, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Notice NOAA is replicating a study done in 2010-2011 on users and non-users of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia. Info here.

Notice NMFS received an application for an incidental take permit from Mr. Jack Rudloe, Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories, Inc. (GSML), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. Info here.