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


ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us for the next Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar, Wednesday, September 19th, at 12 noon (ET): Understanding USDA’s New Dairy Revenue Insurance Program. Details here.


JUDICIAL:

PORTERSVILLE BAY OYSTER COMPANY, LLC, Troy Cornelius, and Rebecca Cornelius v. Christopher BLANKENSHIP, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1161101, 2018 WL 4124504 (Ala. August 29, 2018) concerned Alabama Department of Conservation’s (DOC) decision to contract with a construction company to build a breakwater and marsh for coastal protection. The project allegedly caused “sediment and silt” to kill oysters being farmed in plaintiff’s oyster beds in a shellfish aquaculture easement. Plaintiff oyster farm brought inverse-condemnation suit against Commissioner of the DOC in his official capacity. Circuit Court dismissed and members appealed. State Supreme Court noted that “[a] State official sued in his official capacity is also entitled to the protection of State immunity from suit ‘when the action is, in effect, one against the state.’” Court further reasoned that “because the exception from State immunity based on the taking of property for public use applies here, the defense of State immunity is not available to Commissioner Blankenship as to the oyster farmers’ inverse-condemnation claims.” Reversed and remanded.


LEGISLATIVE:

S. 186: Fair RATES Act. Passed in the Senate on September 4, 2018.

H.R. 1109: To amend section 203 of the Federal Power Act. Passed Senate with an amendment by Voice Vote.

S. 3407: A bill to offset retaliatory duties against the United States by establishing a fund to promote the exports of United States agricultural commodities and products. Referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

H.R. 6699: To offset retaliatory duties against the United States by establishing a fund to promote the exports of United States agricultural commodities and products. Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

H.R. 6439: Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program Authorization Act of 2018. Passed 272/119.


REGULATORY: Includes USDA, EPA, FWS, NOAA, RBCS, and RUS rules and notices.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: Notice the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services announce the intent to establish a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and invite nominations for the Committee. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule that on October 14, 2016, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) submitted a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission for the 2012 Fine Particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the Cleveland nonattainment area. EPA proposed to approve the state’s submittal on June 4, 2018. Info here.

Rule EPA is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Vermont that addresses the infrastructure SIP requirements of the Clean Air Act for the 2012 fine particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Details here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Notice announces a public meeting of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior regarding the benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Info here.

Rule NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 620 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Info here.

RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE SERVICE: Notice this document corrects one item in the initial notice that published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2018, entitled “Rural Development Cooperative Agreement Program.” This correction revises the maximum available points for one scoring criteria. Info here.

RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE:

Notice RUS invites comments on the following information collections for which the RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Details here.

Notice RUS invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested. Title: RUS Form 675, Certification of Authority. Info here.

US CODEX OFFICE: Notice the U.S. Codex Office is sponsoring a public meeting on September 26, 2018. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States positions to be discussed at the 24th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, taking place in Brisbane, Australia, October 22-26, 2018. Info here.