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, Wednesday, June 20th: Cottage Food Laws: Adequately Addressing Food Safety and Economic Opportunity? Details available here.

REGISTER NOW for our upcoming Ag Technology & the Law conference, August 15 and 16 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Details here.


JUDICIAL:

In FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Defendants-Appellees, No. 17-35569, 2018 WL 2752485 (9TH Cir. June 8, 2018), plaintiff sued United States Forest Service (FS), alleging the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by not preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) or environmental assessment (EA) prior to constructing a “community protection line” (CPL) during a wildfire in the National Forest in eastern Washington. The CPL was constructed as a barrier between the fire and populated communities. FS argued it relied on an “emergency regulation” permitting it to forego an EIS or EA prior to building the CPL. Lower court granted summary judgment to FS and on appeal, plaintiff argued an “as-applied” challenge to the agency’s reliance on the USFS Emergency Rule. Court observed that “[it] is unreasonable to argue that forest fires can never present emergency situations when viewed at the time the fire is raging,” and affirmed ruling for agency.


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 3: Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act. Added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

S. 2377: A bill to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 200 West 2nd Street in Dayton, Ohio, as the “Walter H. Rice Federal Building and United States Courthouse”. Text for status Referred to House Committee (Jun 7, 2018) is now available.

S. 2734: A bill to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 1300 Victoria Street in Laredo, Texas, as the “George P. Kazen Federal Building and United States Courthouse”. Text for status Referred to House Committee (Jun 7, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 6064: To rename the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge as the Congressman Lester Wolff National Wildlife Refuge. Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 6060: To assist in the conservation of the North Atlantic right whale by supporting and providing financial resources for North Atlantic right whale conservation programs. Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and House Committee on the Budget.

H.Res. 929: Recognizing World Oceans Day and the necessity to protect, conserve, maintain, and rebuild the ocean and its resources. Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.


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

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE:

Rule USDA is adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the inspection, certification and standards requirements for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products and processed fruits and vegetables, processed products and certain other processed food products by adding an option to allow for electronic submissions of inspection applications. Info here.

Rule establishes a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California. Info here.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENTNotice USDA has submitted information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Importation of Poultry Meat and Other Poultry Products from Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico; Poultry and Pork Transiting the United States From Mexico. Info here.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE: Notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request the reinstatement of an information collection to conduct the National Animal Health Monitoring System’s Goat 2019 Study. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

 Rule EPA is adding a nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) category to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). Info here.

Rule EPA is taking final rulemaking action to approve the second 10-year maintenance plan for the Douglas maintenance area for the 1971 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide. Info here.

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve revisions to the Iowa State Implementation Plan (SIP), the 111(d) plan, and the Operating Permits Program. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Rule FWS would remove the Colorado butterfly plant from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants due to recovery. Info here.

Notice FWS received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Details 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. Title: Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food. 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: Qualified Facility Attestation. Details here.

Notice FDA is announcing the availability of a final guidance for industry (GFI) #3 entitled “General Principles for Evaluating the Human Food Safety of New Animal Drugs Used in Food-Producing Animals.” Details here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINSTRATION:

Rule NMFS implements management measures described in Amendment 36A to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico, as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. Info here.

Rule NMFS implements accountability measures for commercial gray triggerfish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Info here.

Rule NMFS is considering whether to continue, or to revise, the management regime for fishing vessels that target tuna and other highly migratory fish species in the area of overlapping jurisdiction between the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Details here.

RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE: Notice RUS invites comments on this information collection for which the RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Title: 7 CFR 1773, Policy on Audits of RUS Borrowers and Grantees. Details here.