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


JUDICIAL:

ECOLOGICAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee, No. 15-15424, 2017 WL 4974746 (9th Cir. November 2, 2017) involved environmentalists suing an electric utility per citizen suit provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA). They claimed defendant discarded toxic wood treatment chemicals at its facilities. District court granted summary judgment to utility on RCRA claim and plaintiffs appealed. Appellate court found application of RCRA to electric utility’s alleged toxic discharge into stormwater “was not inconsistent with identifiable legal requirements promulgated under CWA, and thus RCRA’s anti-duplication provision did not bar [plaintiffs’] citizen suit against utility based on stormwater discharges.” Affirmed in part and remanded.


LEGISLATIVE:

S. 190: Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act. Bill enacted after being signed by the President on November 2, 2017.

H.R. 1488: Indiana Dunes National Park Act. Bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Nov 2, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 2600: To provide for the conveyance to the State of Iowa of the reversionary interest held by the United States in certain land in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Nov 2, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 2936: Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017. Bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Nov 2, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 3279: Helium Extraction Act of 2017. Bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Nov 2, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 4239: To distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved offshore oil and gas leases, to promote offshore wind lease sales. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 4252: To expand geothermal production. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 4246: To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to create a buffer in between oil and gas drilling operations and homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings that require special protection. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.


REGULATORY: includes EPA, FWS, FDA, ITA, and NOAA rules and notices. 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the State of Maryland’s Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(d)/129 State Plan for municipal waste combustors (MWCs). Details here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the September 6, 2017 direct final rule approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of New Hampshire. Details here.

Rule establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of formaldehyde, polymer with 1,3- benzenediol, 2-methyloxirane and oxirane, ethers with polyethylene glycol mono-Me ether (CAS Reg. No. 1998118-31-2) when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation. Info here.

Rule establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of formaldehyde, polymer with 1,3- benzenediol, ethers with polyethylene glycol mono-Me ether (CAS Reg. No. 1998118-32-3) when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Rule FWS approves the shot for hunting waterfowl and coots. Info here.

Rule FWS seeks public comment on portions of our existing Mitigation Policy and Endangered Species Act Compensatory Mitigation Policy (ESA-CMP). Details here.

Notice FWS received an application from Phillips 66 Pipeline, LLC for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Details here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION:

Rule FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Supply-Chain Program Requirements and Co-Manufacturer Supplier Approval and Verification for Human Food and Animal Food.” Info here.

Notice solicits comments on the information collection provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) and the guidance entitled “Guidance for Industry: Substantiation for Dietary Supplement Claims Made Under Section 403(r)(6) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Details here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION:

Notice ITA determined that revocation of the antidumping duty order on fresh garlic from China would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States. Info here.

Notice ITA is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on utility scale wind towers from Vietnam. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule proposes regulations to implement the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. Info here.

Rule that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 16 to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. Details here.

Notice announcing the availability of the “Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the Effects of Issuing an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) (No. 21293) to Mr. Jack Rudloe, Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories, Inc. (GSML), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. Info here.

Notice that James H.W. Hain, Ph.D., Box 721, Woods Hole, MA 02543, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on North Atlantic right and humpback whales. Info here.