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


ANNOUNCEMENT: Mark your calendar for the next Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar, Tuesday, January 16th: “The New Deal: Understanding and Negotiating Dairy Supply Contracts.” Details available here.


JUDICIAL: Includes environmental and PACA issues.

In WAVERLEY VIEW INVESTORS, LLC, Plaintiff, v. THE UNITED STATES, Defendant, No. 15-371 L, 2018 WL 300559 (Fed. Cl. January 5, 2018), per the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a property owner was required to provide access to his property to install wells for the testing of groundwater contamination. Owner negotiated an agreement allowing government to access the property and install monitoring wells. Agreement expired and government “withdrew from the property, but left behind the monitoring wells and a gravel access road.” Owner sued under Takings Clause and court found “continued presence of the monitoring wells and gravel access road on the property after expiration of the access agreement” established a physical taking.

In G.W. PALMER & CO., INC., Plaintiff, v. FLORIDA FRESH PRODUCE CORP., MARIA ELUDIS RODRIGUEZ, JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ, SERAFIN RODRIGUEZ, S&A ENTERPRISES OF IMMOKALEE LLC, IMMOKALEE PRODUCE CENTER, LLC, and IMMOKALEE PRODUCE CENTER HOLDINGS, LLC, Defendants, No: 2:17-cv-657-FtM-29MRM, 2018 WL 300607 (M.D. Fla. January 5, 2018), plaintiff sued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), after defendant failed to pay for $341,324.25 in produce purchased from plaintiff. Plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction to halt transfer of PACA trust assets held by defendant. Court looked for evidence of “asset dissipation” and noted that defendants “are believed to have recently purchased real property . . . and to have misappropriated certain corporate assets for personal use and financial gain.” Preliminary injunction granted.


LEGISLATIVE:

S. 140: A bill to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts in the WMAT Settlement Fund. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.


REGULATORY: 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve a revision to the Nevada State Implementation Plan (SIP). Info here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the November 14, 2017 direct final rule approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Rhode Island. Details here.

Rule EPA is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the State of Oklahoma’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) program submitted by the State. Info here.