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


This is the final AG & FOOD LAW UPDATE for 2017. The UPDATE returns the first week in January 2018. Enjoy the holidays!

JUDICIAL: Includes food safety and urb & ag issues.

In LMP SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff–Appellant, v. The CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant–Appellee, No. 1–16–3390, 2017 IL App (1st) 163390 (Ill. App. Ct. December 18, 2017), plaintiff, operator of mobile food trucks, challenged City ordinance requiring that they “locate themselves within 200 feet of the principal customer entrance of a restaurant located at street level.” They also challenged a provision requiring food trucks be equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) “that sends real-time data to any service that has a publicly accessible application programming interface.” Circuit court granted City summary judgment and plaintiff appealed. Court found the 200–foot exclusion “represents a rational means of ensuring the general welfare of the City and is neither arbitrary nor unreasonable.” Appellate court, in affirming the lower court decision, found the GPS provision “represents a method of requiring a licensee to maintain records as to its operational location in an electronic form as a condition of conducting business from the city street.”

In Kristi Rosenquist, et al., Relators, v. Circle K. Family Farms, Respondent, Goodhue County Board of Commissioners, et al., Respondents, A17-0279, 2017 WL 6418872 (Minn. Ct. App. December 18, 2017), plaintiff appealed after unsuccessfully suing county board for approving a conditional use permit for construction of a hog-confinement facility. Issue for appellate court was “interpretation of the word “feedlot” in the county zoning ordinance, which requires [a] feedlot to adhere to the 94% odor annoyance-free rating.” Plaintiff argued “the rendering pit must be included in the calculation because it is part of the ‘feedlot.’” Court noted the planning commission found the facility “met the 94% odor-annoyance-free rating based on the hog-confinement facility’s distance to the nearest residence.” Affirmed for defendant.


S. 2252: A bill to amend the Animal Health Protection Act to support State and Tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies to address chronic wasting disease among deer, elk, and moose populations. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

S. 2249: A bill to permanently reauthorize the Rio Puerco Management Committee and the Rio Puerco Watershed Management Program. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H.R. 3979: Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act. Bill’s text for status Passed the House (Dec 18, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 4671: To assist and incentivize organic agriculture by expanding its access to, and eligibility for, Federal rural development and agricultural loan programs. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 4689: To authorize early repayment of obligations to the Bureau of Reclamation within the Northport Irrigation District in the State of Nebraska. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 4688: To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to make land grants-mercedes eligible for assistance. Bill referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

REGULATORY: Includes EPA, FWS, FS, NOAA and RHS rules and notices.


Rule EPA is approving a portion of the revision to the Arkansas State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) on March 24, 2017. Info here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the November 2, 2017, direct final rule approving changes to the Illinois Administrative Code definition of volatile organic material. Details here.

Rule EPA is finalizing an approval of revisions to the Louisiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Louisiana through the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) that address regional haze for the first planning period. Info here.

Rule EPA is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the state of Ohio on March 11, 2016. Info here.

Rule EPA is approving revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Texas. Info here.

Rule EPA is withdrawing the November 7, 2017, direct final rule approving a revision to the Wisconsin State Implementation Plan (SIP). Details here.

Rule Arizona applied to the EPA for final authorization of changes corresponding to certain federal hazardous waste rules promulgated between May 26, 1998, and July 28, 2006 to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Info here.

Rule EPA is proposing to take action under the Clean Air Act (CAA) on an Ohio State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittal addressing regional haze. Details here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: Notice FWS is proposing to renew an information collection with revisions. Title: Conservation Order for Light Geese. Info here.

FOREST SERVICE: Notice Santa Fe National Forest, located in New Mexico, prepared a nonsignificant, programmatic forest plan amendment to allow the use of herbicides in municipal watersheds and on soils with low revegetation potential to accompany its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and a Draft Record of Decision (ROD) for Invasive Plant Control. Info here.


Rule NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 17B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico U.S. Waters, (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. Details here.

Rule corrects the 2017-18 harvest specifications and management measures final rule that published on February 7, 2017. Info here.

Notice is hereby given that the Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty (30) day public comment period for the revised management plan for San Francisco Bay, California National Estuarine Research Reserve management plan revision. Info here.

Notice is hereby given that Christopher Marshall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University at Galveston, 200 Seawolf Parkway, Galveston, TX 77553, has applied in due form for a permit to take Kemp’s ridley, green, hawksbill, and loggerhead sea turtles for purposes of scientific research. Info here.

RURAL HOUSING SERVICE: Notice RHS announces that it is soliciting competitive lender submissions regarding proposed projects for the Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program. Details here.