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


JUDICIAL: Includes Urb and Ag, food labeling, and local food systems issues.

In SOUTHWEST CLARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, INC.; MELANIE LEDFORD; MARK LEDFORD; REGENA CAMPBELL; ELIZABETH MERIDETH; STEPHEN GREEN; MICHAEL K. MAUFFREY; LEE ANN COTTRELL; THOMAS COTTRELL; DEBORAH GARRISON; GARY GARRISON; MARION SHEARER; DEBORAH JAE ALEXANDER; PAMELA ROUNDTREE; ADRIAN THOMAS; GENEVA FLANNERY; JOHN QUISENBERRY; CANDACE TOOLE; JOAN MAYER; BOB TABOR; JOHN M. FOX; ANGELA KELLY FOX; TOM LYKINS; M. CLARE SIPPLE; HARRY ENOCH; CRAIG STOTTS; MOLLY STOTTS; RUTHIE SKINNER; RANKIN SKINNER; BEN C. KAUFMANN; AND JANET ZUSMAN APPELLANTS v. HENRY BRANHAM, JUDGE EXECUTIVE-CLARK COUNTY FISCAL COURT; RICK SMITH, COMMISSIONER, CLARK COUNTY FISCAL COURT; VANESSA OAKS ROGERS, COMMISSIONER, CLARK COUNTY FISCAL COURT; JOELLEN REED, COMMISSIONER, CLARK COUNTY FISCAL COURT; LARRY DISNEY, CHAIR, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; GRAHAM JOHNS, VICE CHAIR, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; STEVE BERRYMAN, MEMBER, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; PAUL DEATON, MEMBER, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; GLENN FARRIN, MEMBER, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; BONNIE HUMMELL, MEMBER, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; MARK POOLE, MEMBER, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; A. DWAIN WHEELER; MEMBER, WINCHESTER-CLARK COUNTY JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION; THE ALLEN COMPANY APPELLEES, NO. 2015-CA-001645-MR, 2017 WL 1193184 (Ky. Ct. App. March 31, 2017), plaintiffs appealed order approving the adoption of an ordinance reclassifying zoning of 165 acres of real property “from A-1 (Agricultural) to I-2 (Heavy Industry).” Plaintiffs argued that the Comprehensive Plan at issue is “clearly erroneous,” becauswe it does not mention the word “quarrying.” Considering the lack of the phrase “quarrying,” the court found that the Comprehensive Plan did not require amending to contain the word “quarry,” and noted that, “[A] comprehensive plan is intended to be a guide for development, not a straight-jacket.” Order affirmed.

In JOHNATHAN JOHNSON, Plaintiff, v. VIJAY-KUMAR-MANDALAY WALA,1 Defendant, Civ. No. 9:14-CV-1151, 2017 WL 1133366 (N.D.N.Y. March 3, 2017), plaintiff, a prisoner, suffered from food allergies and requested vitamins, but prison determined plaintiff’s diet was adequate and provided no vitamins. Plaintiff claimed defendant’s to discontinue the multivitamins violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Court determined that plaintiff did not claim he suffered from any serious medical infirmities due to the lack of mutlivitamins, and plaintiff’s food allergies did not rise to the level of “an objectively serious medical condition/deprivation.” Court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

In STATE OF ILLINOIS, ex rel. STEPHEN B. DIAMOND, P.C., Relator-Appellant, v. THE WINETASTING NETWORK, d/b/a WINETASTING.COM and TSG, LLC, Defendants-Appellees, No. 1-15-2829, 2017 IL App (1st) 152829-U (Ill. App. Ct. March 28, 2017), plaintiff filed a qui tam action against Winetasting.com under the Illinois False Claims Act (IFCA) alleging the company sold wines without paying all required taxes. Circuit court dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a cause of action. Affirmed after appellate court determined that “the complaint fails to specify a false statement that defendants allegedly made.”


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 1759: Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1769: San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1760: To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to eliminate the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a waiver from the work requirements for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1753: Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act of 2017. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1768: End NHA Earmarking Act. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1752: Voluntary Checkoff Program Participation Act. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1756: Virginia Jobs and Energy Act. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 1430: HONEST Act. Bill’s text for status now available.

S. 55: Fort Ontario Study Act. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent it to the House or Senate for consideration.

S. 35: Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration.

S. 97: Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration.

S. 99: James K. Polk Presidential Home Study Act. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration.

S. 117: Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act of 2017. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration.

S. 131: Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on March 30, 2017.

S. 590: A bill to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to maintain or replace certain facilities and structures for commercial recreation services at Smith Gulch in Idaho, and for other purposes. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H.R. 1431: EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017. Bill’s text for status now available.

S. 617: Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 703: Wichita Project Equus Beds Division Authorization Extension Act. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 713: A bill to establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area in the State of Washington. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 714: A bill to amend Public Law 103-434 to authorize Phase III of the Yakima River Basin Water Basin Water Enhancement Project for the purposes of improving water management in the Yakima River basin. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 710: A bill to reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving Jennings Randolph Dam. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 733: A bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 730: A bill to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 723: A bill to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 724: A bill to amend the Federal Power Act to modernize authorizations for necessary hydropower approvals. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 734: A bill to extend a project of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involving the Cannonsville Dam. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 729: A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to acquire approximately 44 acres of land in Martinez, California, for inclusion in the John Muir National Historic Site. Last Action: Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 785: A bill to amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to provide for equitable allotment of land to Alaska Native veterans. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S. H.R. 1841: To provide for the regulation of marijuana products. Bill referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and 3 other committees.

S. 789: A bill to exempt from the Lacey Act and the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 certain water transfers between any of the States of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R. 1812: To provide that the Executive Order entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” (March 28, 2017), shall have no force or effect, to prohibit the use of Federal funds to enforce the Executive Order. Bill referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, House Committee on Natural Resources, and 2 other committees.

H.R. 1818: To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to clarify provisions enacted by the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, to further the conservation of certain wildlife species. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 1807: To exempt from the Lacey Act and the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 certain water transfers between any of the States of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and House Committee on the Judiciary.

S. 800: A bill to protect taxpayers from liability associated with the reclamation of surface coal mining operations, and for other purposes. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H.R. 1800: To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to transfer certain Federal land to facilitate scientific research supporting Federal space and defense programs. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 1819: To protect taxpayers from liability associated with the reclamation of surface coal mining operations. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 1824: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the gap between Federal and State marijuana policy, and for other purposes. Bill referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and 6 other committees.


REGULATORY: Includes USDA, CCC, FSIS, FS, and NOAA rules and notices.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: Notice USDA has submitted an information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: 7 CFR 1942-A, Community Facility Loans. Info here.

COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION: Rule FSA administers the FSFL Program on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Details here.

FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE: Notice the Office of Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition are sponsoring a public meeting on April 7, 2017. Info here.

FOREST SERVICE: Notice that on October 2, 2015, the San Bernardino National Forest gave notice that the Forest Service intended to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric proposed North-South Project. Details here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule NMFS closes the coastwide General category fishery for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) until the General category reopens on June 1, 2017. Info here.

Notice The Department of Commerce will submit to OMB for clearance a proposal for collection of information. Title: Nautical Discrepancy Reporting System. Details here.

Notice the National Sea Grant College Program is requesting letters of intent from eligible applicants to become a Sea Grant Institutional Program serving the Lake Champlain Region. Details here.