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


ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us Wednesday, October 18th, at 12 noon (ET) for an Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar: “Understanding the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program.” Details available here.


JUDICIAL: Includes Urb & Ag and environmental issues.

In DONALD HILL, et al, Respondents, v. MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION, et al., Appellants, No. ED 105042, 2017 WL 4507991 (Mo. Ct. App. October 10, 2017), the Missouri Conservation Commission appealed trial court ruling enjoining enforcement of Commission regulations regarding the importation and possession of deer. Appellate court reasoned that the importation ban “is a rational means of reducing the risk of further spread of [Chronic Wasting Diseases] into Missouri, especially into hunting preserves where cervid populations are more concentrated.” Trial court reversed and case transferred to Missouri Supreme Court.

Town of Cedar Lake, Indiana, Appellant-Respondent, v. Certain Cedar Lake 2014 Annexation Territory Landowners, Appellees-Petitioners, No. 45A03-1703-MI-589, 2017 WL 4532110 (Ind. Ct. App. October 11, 2017) involved an annexation of 2800 acres of land and the issue was whether plaintiff (Town) established that the annexed land was “needed and can be used by the municipality for its development in the reasonably near future.” Trial court found proposed annexation did not satisfy the “needed and can be used” standard. Plaintiff appealed, arguing the appellate court “should review the annexation ordinance at issue to determine if has a ‘rational basis’ rather than review the trial court’s judgment for clear error.” Appellate court concluded trial court’s judgment “must be reviewed only for clear error,” and that the court “did not employ an incorrect legal standard.” Affirmed for defendant.

In UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff–Appellee, v. Max SPATIG, aka John Spatig, aka John Serge Spatig, Defendant–Appellant, No. 15–30322, 870 F.3d 1079 (9th Cir. September 13, 2017), defendant was convicted of storing over 3,000 containers of hazardous waste in his yard without a permit, in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Defendant appealed, challenging court’s refusal to admit evidence of his diminished capacity. Defendant maintained his crime was of specific, not general, intent. Appellate court held that the “RCRA provision defendant violated was a general-intent crime, and thus he could not advance a diminished-capacity defense.” Conviction affirmed.


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 4020: To amend the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 relating to the distribution of food. Bill referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

H.R. 4008: Making additional supplemental appropriations for disaster relief requirements for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018. Bill referred to the House Committee on Appropriations and House Committee on the Budget.


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

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE:

Notice AMS will request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for a revision of a currently approved collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products—Recordkeeping (Subpart B). Info here.

Notice AMS will request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection used in support of the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs, which is commonly referred to as the Shell Egg Surveillance Program. Info here.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE:

Notice APHIS will request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the black stem rust quarantine and regulations. Info here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the gypsy moth program. Details here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of fresh blueberry fruit from Morocco into the continental United States. Details here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of mangoes from Jamaica into the continental United States. Details here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of pine nursery stock and various pine products from Canada to prevent the spread of pine shoot beetle into noninfested areas of the United States. Info here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of wheat and related articles from regions affected with Karnal bunt. Details here.

Notice advising the public that an environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact have been prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to the release of three parasitoids, Diaparsis jucunda, Lemophagus errabundus, and Tetrastichus setifer, for the biological control of the lily leaf beetle in the contiguous United States. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is withdrawing the August 16, 2017, direct final rule that approves an Alabama state implementation plan (SIP) revision related to “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) and particulate emissions. EPA will address the comment in a subsequent final action based upon the proposed rulemaking action, also published on August 16, 2017. Info here.

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve changes to the Alabama State Implementation Plan (SIP) to revise the definition of “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs), correct a typographical error, and remove control of particulate emissions and opacity limits for Talladega County. Details here.

Rule EPA is taking direct final action to approve a portion of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Florida, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on February 1, 2017, for the purpose of revising Florida’s requirements and procedures for emissions monitoring at stationary sources. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving portions of a revision to the Georgia State Implementation Plan (SIP) concerning the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) that was submitted by Georgia on July 26, 2017. Details here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the August 17, 2017, direct final rule that approves portions of North Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions related to changes to an air curtain burner regulation. Info here.

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve portions of a revision to the South Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP) concerning the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). South Carolina submitted a draft version of this SIP revision for parallel processing on May 26, 2017, and a final version on September 5, 2017. Info here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing portions of the August 21, 2017, direct final rule that approves changes to South Carolina’s state implementation plan (SIP) related to definitions and open burning. Details here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the August 16, 2017, direct final rule that approves portions of the South Carolina state implementation plan (SIP) revisions for miscellaneous rules covering air pollution control standards. Info here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the August 14, 2017, direct final rule approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Connecticut. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: Notice FWS is proposing to renew an information collection. Title of Collection: North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey. Info here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION:

Rule is correcting a proposed rule that published in the Federal Register of September 13, 2017. That proposed rule proposes to extend, for covered produce other than sprouts, the dates for compliance with the agricultural water provisions in the “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” regulation. Info here.

Notice FDA is announcing public meetings entitled “Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative.” Details here.

FOREST SERVICE: Notice FS seeks comments on the extension with no revision of a currently approved information collection, Small Business Timber Sale Set-Aside Program; Appeal Procedures on Recomputation of Shares. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

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

Rule NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for the commercial sector for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone. Details here.

Rule NMFS specifies a 2017 limit of 2,000 mt of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. participating territory. Info here.

Notice NMFS has received a request from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Haines Ferry Terminal Modification Project in Haines, Alaska. Info here.