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


ANNOUNCEMENT:

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JUDICIAL Includes water law, COOL, and right-to-farm issues.

In UPPER REPUBLICAN NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT and Steve Yost, appellees, And FEM, Inc., and M & L Cattle Company, appellees and cross-appellants, v. DUNDY COUNTY BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, appellant and cross-appellee, No. S-17-814, 300 Neb. 256 (Neb. June 15, 2018), plaintiff purchased land as part of a ground water integrated management plan and leased it for grazing and grain storage. The local county board of equalization appealed a decision by the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission to declare the land tax exempt. State Supreme Court observed that the only issue before Commission was “whether parcels were being used for a public purpose as required for property tax exemption.” Court also determined that the land at issue “was being used for a public purpose and thus was entitled to property tax exemption.” Remanded.

In RANCHERS-CATTLEMEN ACTION LEGAL FUND; United Stockgrowers of America; and Cattle Producers of Washington, Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; and Sonny Perdue in his official capacity as Secretary of Agriculture, Defendants, NO: 2:17-CV-223-RMP,  2018 WL 2708747 (E.D. Wash. June 5, 2018), plaintiffs claimed the USDA was unlawfully allowing imported beef to be both sold to consumers without a country of origin label and sold to consumers with a “Product of USA” label even if the animal from which the beef was derived “was born, raised and slaughtered in a foreign country.” Defendants argued plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they failed to demonstrate any injury resulting from the removal of beef and pork from mandatory COOL requirements. The Court considered the language of the 1989 Foreign Products Rule and concluded the the 2016 COOL Requirement Removal Rule “directly reflects statutory language enacted by Congress.” Court also concluded that the USDA’s actions were not  “arbitrary and capricious, or unsupported by substantial evidence.” USDA regulations upheld.

In Morgan HONOMICHL, Robin Honomichl, Timothy Honomichl, Deb Chance, Kara Chance, Karen Jo Frescoln, Mike Merrill, and Q.H., Appellee, v. VALLEY VIEW SWINE, LLC and JBS Live Pork, LLC, Appellants, No. 16-1006, 2018 WL 3083982 (Iowa June 22, 2018), property owners near a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) sued, claiming operator was negligent. Plaintiff argued the CAFO “constituted a nuisance that entitled the real estate owners to damages for the loss of use and enjoyment of their property due to the odors, pathogens, and flies.” Lower court granted plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment and CAFO operator appealed. State Supreme Court found “genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether real estate owners received no particular benefit from nuisance immunity granted to their neighbors other than that inuring to the public in general, sustained significant hardship, and resided on their property long before any animal operation was commenced.” Reversed and remanded.


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 221: Hydrographic Services Improvement Amendments Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 805: Tulare Youth Recreation and Women’s History Enhancement Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House.

H.R. 857: California Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House.

H.R. 1791: Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 3392: Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 4257: Advancing Conservation and Education Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 4528: To make technical amendments to certain marine fish conservation statutes, and for other purposes. This bill’s text for status Passed the House (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 5751: Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act. This bill’s text for status Reported by House Committee (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 5895: Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019. This bill’s text for status Passed the Senate with an Amendment (Jun 25, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 2083: Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act. This bill’s text for status Passed the House (Jun 26, 2018) is now available.


REGULATORY: Includes AMS, USDA, APHIS, EPA, FWS, FDA, FS, and NOAA rules and notices.

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE:

Rule AMS is seeking comments from the public regarding the United States (U.S.) Standards for Canola under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA). Info here.

Rule AMS is seeking comments from the public regarding the United States (U.S.) Standards for Corn under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA). Details here.

Rule AMS is seeking comments from the public regarding the United States (U.S.) Standards for Soybeans under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA). Info here.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: Notice the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (the Secretary) announces the establishment of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 (October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019) in-quota aggregate quantity of raw cane sugar at 1,117,195 metric tons raw value (MTRV), and the establishment of the FY 2019 in-quota aggregate quantity of certain sugars, syrups, and molasses (also referred to as refined sugar) at 192,000 MTRV. Info here.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE:

Notice advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (EA) relative to an oral rabies vaccination field trial in New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Vermont, and West Virginia. Details here.

Notice advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) in connection with potential changes to the regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms. Details here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve a revision to the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District portion of the California State Implementation Plan. Info here.

Rule EPA is approving the majority of the submittal, as well as revisions made to Colorado’s Reg. No. 7 in a May 5, 2013 SIP submission. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving two state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Details here.

Rule EPA is proposing to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Arizona to meet Clean Air Act requirements applicable to the Hayden lead (Pb) nonattainment area. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving revisions to the Arkansas State Implementation Plan (SIP) minor New Source Review (NSR) program submitted on July 26, 2010, and March 24, 2017, including supplemental information provided on November 30, 2015, May 26, 2016, July 5, 2017, July 27, 2017, and March 16, 2018. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving revised rules submitted by the State of Michigan as State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions. The main revision specifies volatile organic compound (VOC) limits for cutback and emulsified asphalts as well as the test methods for determining the VOC content of these products. Info here.

Rule EPA is proposing to approve portions of the Arkansas State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittal addressing the CAA requirement that SIPs address the potential for interstate transport of air pollution to significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM<INF>2.5</INF>) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in other states. Details here.

Rule EPA proposes to approve state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) on March 20, 2018 and April 12, 2018. Info here.

Rule EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), to EPA on May 12, 2017, for attaining the 2010 1- hour sulfur dioxide (SO<INF>2</INF>) primary national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for the Sullivan County SO<INF>2</INF> nonattainment area. Details here.

Rule EPA is proposing to approve elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from Vermont that addresses the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act)–including the interstate transport provisions–for the 2012 fine particle (PM<INF>2.5</INF>) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Notice announces the availability of the environmental impact statement (EIS) and habitat conservation plan (HCP) for incidental take permit (ITP) application under the Endangered Species Act. Details here.

Notice the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for membership on the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council. Info here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION:

Notice FDA is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). Title: Regulations Under the Federal Import Milk Act. Details here.

Notice FDA is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Title: Animal Food Labeling; Declaration of Certifiable Color Additives. Details here.

Notice FDA is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Title: Labeling of Certain Beers Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration. Info here.

Notice FDA is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Title: National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy Survey. Info here.

FOREST SERVICE: Notice lists the updated quantity-based trigger levels for products which may be subject to additional import duties under the safeguard provisions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. This notice also includes the relevant period applicable for the trigger levels on each of the listed products. Details here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule NMFS issues regulations to modify specific provisions of the North Pacific Observer Program. The first two elements of this final rule implement requirements for an observer to obtain a nontrawl lead level 2 (LL2) deployment endorsement and implement a pre-cruise meeting requirement for vessels required to carry an observer with a nontrawl LL2 deployment endorsement. Details here.

Rule Commerce is considering revisions to its regulations for the licensing of private remote sensing space systems, currently administered by NOAA. These revisions would facilitate the continued growth of this critical industry and update the regulatory regime to address significant technological developments, new business models, and increased foreign competition since their last update in 2006. Details here.

Notice is hereby given that Linnea Pearson, California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 21006. Info here.

Notice is hereby given that Jooke Robbins, Ph.D., Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown, MA 02657, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on cetaceans. Info here.