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


ANNOUNCEMENT:  Join us Wednesday, September 20, at 12 noon (ET) for an Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar: “Tackling the Challenge of Invasive Species to Reduce Impacts to Agriculture.” Details available here.


JUDICIAL: Includes PACA and environmental issues.

CLASSIC HARVEST LLC, Plaintiff, v. FRESHWORKS LLC, et al., Defendants, 1:15-cv-2988-WSD, 2017 WL 3971192 (N.D. Ga. September 7, 2017) involved a suit under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) that considered whether there was a “true sale of receivables” between the parties. PACA Creditors argued receivables were not sold to defendant and remained “trust assets subject to the PACA Creditors’ priority claims.” Defendant argued it was entitled to keep receivables and their proceeds because it “purchased the Receivables from [third party] and the purchase did not breach the PACA Trust.” Court observed the “the substance of the relationship” between the parties and “not simply the label attached to the transaction.” Defendant’s motion for summary judgment denied.

In RICHLAND/WILKIN JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY, Plaintiff, and MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES Intervenor-Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, ROBERT SPEER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY FOR CIVIL WORKS, and COL. SAM CALKINS, Defendants, and FARGO-MOORHEAD FLOOD DIVERSION BOARD OF AUTHORITY and CITY OF OXBOW, Intervenor-Defendants, No. 13-2262 (JRT/LIB), 2017 WL 3972471 (D. Minn. September 7, 2017), plaintiff (DNR) alleged Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) violated law “by signing a project partnership agreement and beginning construction on a permanent flood protection project without the Diversion Authority obtaining requisite permits from the State of Minnesota.” Plaintiff sought preliminary injunction to prevent the Corps “from continuing construction until the Diversion Authority obtains the allegedly requisite permits.” Plaintiff alleged it would suffer harm in the form of “reduced stream and river stability, loss of fish connectivity, harm to aquatic habitats, and the spread of invasive species.” Corps claimed DNR failed to allege a “substantive harm” because “nothing the Corps will do in the next nine months is irreparable.” However, court found that “once the project begins, it creates the risk of a ‘steam roller’ effect preventing the DNR from properly regulating the Project.” Motion for preliminary injunction granted.


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 2615: Gulf Islands National Seashore Land Exchange Act of 2017. This bill’s text for status Reported by House Committee is now available.


REGULATORY: Includes USDA, EPA, FDA, FAS,  NOAA, and RHS rules and notices.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENTNotice USDA has submitted an information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Transfer of Farm Records between Counties. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is taking final action to determine that the Jefferson County nonattainment area, in Missouri, has attained the 2010 1-hour primary Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) per the EPA’s Clean Data Policy. Info here.

Rule establishes tolerances for residues of EPTC, S-ethyl dipropylthiocarbamate in or on grass, forage at 0.60 ppm and grass, hay at 0.50 ppm. Gowan Company requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Info here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATIONRule FDA is proposing 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 rule. Info here.

FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE:

Notice announces a fee of $300 to be charged for the 2018 tariff-rate quota (TRQ) year for each license issued to a person or firm by the Department of Agriculture authorizing the importation of certain dairy articles, which are subject to tariff-rate quotas set forth in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States. Details here.

Notice announces the revised appendices under the Dairy Tariff-Rate Import Quota Licensing Regulation for the 2017 quota year reflecting the cumulative annual transfers from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2 for certain dairy product import licenses permanently surrendered by licensees or revoked by the Licensing Authority. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Notice Department of Commerce invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections. Details here.

Notice announcing meeting location change and schedule modification of the SEDAR Steering Committee meeting. Info here.

Notice of meeting of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Citizen Science Advisory Panel Finance Action Team. Info here.

Notice that Inwater Research Group, Inc. has applied in due form for a permit to take green , hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, and loggerhead sea turtles for purposes of scientific research. Info here.

Notice that James Lloyd-Smith, Ph.D., Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 90095, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals. Info here.

Notice NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving activities for waterfront repairs at the USCG Monterey Station in Monterey, California. Details here.

RURAL HOUSING SERVICENotice RHS will request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the program for the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program. Details here.