JUDICIAL:

Wild Fish Conservancy v. Cooke Aquaculture Pac. LLC, No. C17-1708-JCC, 2019 WL 1880035 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 26, 2019)

Defendant Cooke Aquaculture farms Atlantic salmon at net pen facilities located throughout Puget Sound. (See Dkt. No. 15 at 2.) The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires any entity that discharges pollutants into the waters of the United States to hold and comply with the terms of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. 33 U.S.C. § 1342. Pursuant to the CWA, authorized state agencies may issue NPDES permits; in Washington, the Department of Ecology performs the functions necessary to “meet the requirements” of the CWA, including issuing permits. See 33 § U.S.C. 1342(b); Wash. Rev. Code. § 90.48.260. A NPDES permit holder must prepare and implement certain plans to minimize and monitor the release of pollutants. Id. at § 1342(a)(2). Defendant operates its facilities pursuant to NPDES permits, which require, among other things, the preparation of a Pollution Prevention Plan and a Release Prevention and Monitoring Plan (“Release Prevention Plan”) (together, “the plans”) that satisfy the conditions of its permits.
Defendant operated eight net pen facilities across Puget Sound until the collapse of its Cypress Site 2 (“Cypress 2”) facility on or about August 20, 2017.  The collapse resulted in the release of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. While Cypress 2 is no longer operational, Defendant continues to operate its other seven net pen facilities under its NPDES permits. On August 24, 2017, Plaintiff sent Defendant a “Notice of Intent to Sue Under the Clean Water Act” letter (“notice letter”) and sent a supplemental notice letter on September 6, 2017.On November 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant asserting several CWA violations, including that Defendant’s plans are facially noncompliant with their respective permits. Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment asks the Court to find that Defendant’s plans violated Conditions S6 and S7 of their NPDES permits.
Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment was mostly granted.
XIPING OPECK FOOD CO., LTD., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant., No. 17-00260, 2019 WL 1897072 (Ct. Int’l Trade Apr. 26, 2019)
Plaintiff Xiping Opeck Food Co., Ltd. (“Plaintiff” or “Xiping”) moves for judgment on the agency record, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1516a (2012), challenging the United States Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce” or the “Department”) final results of its administrative review of the antidumping duty order covering freshwater crawfish tail meat from China. See Freshwater Crawfish Tail Meat From the People’s Rep. of China, 82 Fed. Reg. 47,469 (Dep’t Commerce Oct. 12, 2017) (“Final Results”), and accompanying Issues and Dec. Mem. (Oct. 5, 2017), P.R. 142 (“Final IDM”). The period of review (“POR”) was September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016.
Xiping, an exporter of crawfish tail meat from China,1 objects to Commerce’s rejection of untimely filed surrogate country financial statements from Thailand. Plaintiff also contends that the South African financial statements, on which Commerce relied, were “insufficiently disaggregated,” and, therefore, could not serve as a proper basis for a normal value calculation. See Pl.’s Br. Supp. Mot. J. Agency R., ECF No. 24 (“Pl.’s Br.”) 1; Pl.’s Reply Br., ECF No. 28.
The court has jurisdiction pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1516a(a)(2)(B)(iii) and 28 U.S.C. § 1581(c) (2012). Because Commerce did not abuse its discretion by rejecting the untimely filed financial statements, and Plaintiff failed to exhaust its administrative remedies when disputing the use of the South African financial statements. Commerce’s Final Results are sustained.
LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 2362: American Agriculture First Act-To prioritize the purchase of agricultural commodities from domestically owned enterprises, and for other purposes. Info HERE

REGULATORY:
Final rule: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; This final rule amends the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) section of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) organic regulations to implement recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). This rule adds elemental sulfur to the National List for use in organic livestock production and reclassifies potassium acid tartrate from a non-agricultural substance to an agricultural substance and requires the organic form of the ingredient when commercially available. This rule also corrects the amendatory instructions to ensure proper placement of the regulatory text. Info HERE

Notice: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the 2019 rates it will charge for voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing, and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities including meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and cotton and tobacco. The 2019 regular, overtime, holiday, and laboratory services rates will be applied at the beginning of the crop year, fiscal year or as required by law depending on the commodity. Other starting dates are added to this notice based on cotton industry practices. This action establishes the rates for user-funded programs based on costs incurred by AMS. This year more than half of AMS user fee rates will remain unchanged or will decrease, but increases are necessary to many fees to cover costs. For consistency, audit fees will now be the same for all commodities at $115.00 per hour. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Research Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and applicable regulations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), this notice announces the intention of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to seek reinstatement of the ARS Animal Health National Program Assessment Survey. This voluntary information collection will give the beneficiaries of ARS research the opportunity to provide input on the impact of research conducted by ARS in the last national program cycle for each respective national program. This input will be used in planning the research agenda for the next 5-year program cycle. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA; The proposed information collection requirement described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and OMB implementing regulations. The Department is soliciting public comments on the subject proposal. Info HERE

Notice: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); This notice announces EPA’s receipt of application 89668-EUP-3 from MosquitoMate, Inc., requesting an experimental use permit (EUP) for the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis, strain w AlbB in live male Aedes aegypti (strain WB1) mosquitoes. EPA has determined that the permit may be of regional or national significance. Therefore, because of the potential significance, EPA is seeking comments on this application. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Rural Utilities Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for a renewal and revision to the currently approved information collection of the Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) of Covered Commodities. Info HERE

Notice: Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA; The Farm Service Agency (FSA), on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), is announcing the availability of funding under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) for eligible certified organic producers and handlers. FSA is also announcing the opportunity for State Agencies to apply for grant agreements to administer the OCCSP program in fiscal year (FY) 2019. State Agencies that establish agreements for FY 2019 may be given the opportunity to extend their agreements and receive additional funds to administer the program in future years. Through this notice, FSA is providing the requirements for producers and handlers to apply for OCCSP payments, and for State Agencies to establish agreements to receive funds in order to provide cost share assistance to eligible producers and handlers. Info HERE

Notice: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA; The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing that starting June 1, 2019, it will assess a fee to exporters that choose to apply for export certificates electronically through the export component of the Agency’s Public Health Information System (PHIS). FSIS is only using the PHIS export component for a limited number of countries at this time. Info HERE

Notice of deauthorization of Federal funding: Natural Resources Conservation Service, (NRCS), USDA; NRCS gives notice of the deauthorization of Federal funding for the South Branch Potomac River Subwatershed of the Potomac River Watershed project, Highland County, Virginia and Pendleton and Grant Counties, West Virginia, effective November 29, 2018. Info HERE

Notice; request for comment: Forest Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with revisions to the information collection, Fire & Aviation Management Medical Qualifications Program.With this extension, the Agency has changed the name of the information collection to Fire & Aviation Management Medical Qualifications Program. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments.Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to revise the approved information collection for the FSIS Public Health Information System (PHIS) so that FSIS can make periodic updates to the numbering system on the Meat and Poultry Export Certificate of Wholesomeness (FSIS Form 9060-5). The approval for this information collection will expire on January 31, 2021. FSIS is making no changes to the burden estimate. Info HERE

Notice: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA; The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“Department”) announces adjusted income eligibility guidelines to be used by State agencies in determining the income eligibility of persons applying to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). These income eligibility guidelines are to be used in conjunction with the WIC Regulations. Info HERE

Interpretative rule and request for comments: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; On May 13, 2016, the Air Transport Association of America filed suit against the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), claiming APHIS’ 2015 final rule setting fee structures for its Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) program (Docket No. APHIS-2013-0021, effective December 28, 2015) violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In its March 28, 2018 Order, the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia rejected challenges based on the calculations and methods for setting the fees and APHIS’ adoption of the final rule. However, the Court also held that APHIS improperly relied on an expired provision in the relevant statute to justify its ability to levy a fee to support a reserve account. In so doing, the Court did “not evaluate or rule on the agency’s current argument that it has authority to fund a reserve” pursuant to other statutory authority. In this clarification to the final rule, APHIS clarifies that, while we accept the court’s holding that congressional authority under one specific provision of the statute to maintain a reasonable balance in the reserve account expired in 2002, this expiration does not abrogate our authority to collect for a reserve, as that authorization is written into other provisions of the statute. This interpretation is consistent with APHIS’ long-standing precedent as set forth in prior rulemakings. The agency is only seeking comments related to the legal authority for the reserve component of AQI User Fee Program and is not reexamining any other aspect of the program at this time, including the AQI User Fee calculation. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA; In accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations that implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) intention to request Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the revision and extension of a currently approved information collection for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Info HERE

Interpretative rule and request for comments: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA On May 13, 2016, the Air Transport Association of America filed suit against the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), claiming APHIS’ 2015 final rule setting fee structures for its Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) program (Docket No. APHIS-2013-0021, effective December 28, 2015) violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In its March 28, 2018 Order, the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia rejected challenges based on the calculations and methods for setting the fees and APHIS’ adoption of the final rule. However, the Court also held that APHIS improperly relied on an expired provision in the relevant statute to justify its ability to levy a fee to support a reserve account. In so doing, the Court did “not evaluate or rule on the agency’s current argument that it has authority to fund a reserve” pursuant to other statutory authority. In this clarification to the final rule, APHIS clarifies that, while we accept the court’s holding that congressional authority under one specific provision of the statute to maintain a reasonable balance in the reserve account expired in 2002, this expiration does not abrogate our authority to collect for a reserve, as that authorization is written into other provisions of the statute. This interpretation is consistent with APHIS’ long-standing precedent as set forth in prior rulemakings. The agency is only seeking comments related to the legal authority for the reserve component of AQI User Fee Program and is not reexamining any other aspect of the program at this time, including the AQI User Fee calculation. Info HERE