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


JUDICIAL: 

In JOSEPH KIDD, Plaintiff, v. WALLACE PORK SYSTEMS, LTD., Defendant. RAY RISNER, Plaintiff, v. WALLACE PORK SYSTEMS, LTD., Defendant, NO. 3:16-CV-210-MGG, CAUSE NO. 3:16-CV-211-MGG, 2017 WL 4390366 (N.D. Ind. October 2, 2017), plaintiffs, employees at a feed mill, sued claiming defendant’s failure to pay them overtime “constituted violations of Indiana’s minimum wage and wage payment statutes as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Court observed that “Manufacturing enterprises conducted by a farmer or on a farm are not automatically considered farming or agricultural operations under the FLSA.” Issue was whether plaintiffs’ work amounted to “secondary agriculture,” thus qualifying for the “agricultural exemption form overtime pay.” Court reasoned that the proportion of defendant’s third party sales would impact whether defendant’s feed mill operations “shifted from an agricultural focus . . . to a manufacturing focus during the period of Plaintiff’s employment.” Summary judgment denied.


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 3905: To require congressional approval of any mineral withdrawal or monument designation involving the National Forest System lands in the State of Minnesota, to provide for the renewal of certain mineral leases in such lands. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 3894: To protect grizzly bear populations, and for other purposes. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 965: Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park Redesignation Act. This bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Oct 3, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 1547: Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act. This bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Oct 3, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 2316: Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017. This bill’s text for status Referred to Senate Committee (Oct 3, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 3914: To remove the limitation imposed as a result of receiving funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund on the conversion of Lake Afton Park in Sedgwick County, Kansas, to a use other than public outdoor recreation. This bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 424: Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017. Committees assigned to this bill sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on October 4, 2017.

H.R. 3131: Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act. Committees assigned to this bill sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on October 4, 2017.


REGULATORY: Includes USDA, EPA, FWS, ITA, NASS, NOAA AND RBCS rules and notices.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: Rule updates the regulations required for the enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (commonly referred to as “Title IX”) for financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is approving portions of the October 26, 2015, and May 19, 2017, State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from Alabama replacing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) federal implementation plan. Details here.

Rule EPA is finalizing approval of portions of five State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), through the Florida Division of Air Resource Management, on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, December 12, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision from the State of Missouri for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Info here.

Rule EPA is approving elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision from the State of Missouri for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from the State of North Dakota to demonstrate the State meets infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) promulgated for sulfur dioxide (SO2) on June 2, 2010, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on December 14, 2012. Info here.

Rule establishes tolerances for residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl in or on rice grain, freshwater fish, shellfish crustacean, and mollusc. Dow AgroSciences LLC requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Details here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Rule FWS determine endangered species status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida prairie-clover), and threatened species status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida pineland crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (pineland sandmat). Info here.

Rule FWS announces a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list the Louisiana pinesnake (Pituophis ruthveni) as a threatened species. Info here.

Notice FWS make available the draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) draft Habitat Conservation Plan (dHCP) for construction of two water pipelines (Micron and Water Resources Integration Program (WRIP)) in Bexar County, Texas. SAWS (applicant) has applied to the Service for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. Details here.

Notice FWS issued the following permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species, marine mammals, or both. We issue these permits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Details here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice ITA has received an application for an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review (“Certificate”) from Northwest Fruit Exporters. This notice summarizes the proposed amendment and seeks public comments on whether the amended Certificate should be issued. Info here.

NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE: Notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Labor Survey. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule the New England Fishery Management Council has submitted the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2, incorporating an Environmental Impact Statement, for review by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is requesting comments from the public on the Omnibus Amendment. Details here.

Notice Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance a proposal for collection of information. Title: NMFS Alaska Region Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Program. Details here.

Notice Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance a proposal for collection of information. Title: Pacific Islands Region Permit Family of Forms. Details here.

RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE SERVICE: Notice announces the Rural Business-Cooperative Service’s (RBS) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Details here.