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


JUDICIAL: Includes food safety, ag lease, and environmental issues.

In James Craten, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Foster Poultry Farms Incorporated, Defendant, No. CV-15-02587-PHX-DLR, 2018 WL 487834 (D. Ariz. January 19, 2018), a child contracted salmonellosis and got severely ill. Parents sued contending the illness was caused by raw chicken processed by defendant and alleged negligence, strict liability, and breach of implied warranty of merchantability. Defendant moved for summary judgment. Court granted summary judgment to defendant on their strict liability and implied warranty claims, but denied summary judgment on negligence claims “to the extent they are based on duties that parallel federal law.”

DOUBLE R. RANCH TRUST et al., Plaintiffs, v. MICHAEL D. NEDD1 et al., Defendants, No. 17-cv-438 (CRC), 2018 WL 466652 (D.D.C. January 18, 2018) concerned a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decision that a segment of the Rogue River in Oregon “is suitable for Congress to designate for future protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.” Under the Act, Congress designates certain rivers for statutory protection “intended to preserve the river’s flow, water quality, and other natural, recreational, or cultural attributes.” Plaintiffs argued with the decision and sought its reversal. Court found plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because BLM’s suitability determination “is but one step in a long and unpredictable process towards potential congressional designation, and because [plaintiffs] fail to allege an injury-in-fact.” Motion to dismiss granted.

In NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL and Powder River Basin Resource Council, Petitioners v. U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION and United States of America, Respondents, Strata Energy, Inc., Intervenor, No. 16-1298, 2018 WL 472547 (D.C. January 19, 2018), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license to an energy company to mine uranium in Wyoming. Plaintiff (Natural Resources Defense Council) intervened in the licensing proceeding and alleged “procedural and substantive defects in the licensing process.” Plaintiffs argued the license only required the energy company to “attempt” to locate and fill boreholes, instead of “requiring” them to do so. Court concluded that “[t]he procedure followed by the Commission in this matter was not ideal, but there was no harm and no foul under either the NEPA or the APA.” Plaintiffs’ petition denied.


LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 4868: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of Fort Pillow Historic State Park in Henning, Tennessee. Text is now available.

H.R. 4851: To establish the Kennedy-King National Historic Site in the State of Indiana. Text is now available.

H.R. 4855: To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to provide an incentive for households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program to purchase certain nutritious fruits and vegetables that are beneficial to good health. Text is now available.

H.R. 4847: To streamline the process for consideration of applications for the placement of communications facilities on certain Federal lands. Ttext is now available.

H.R. 4864: To amend title 18, United States Code, to penalize unlawful flight to avoid prosecution into or from Indian country. Text is now available.


REGULATORY: Includes EPA, FWS, FDA, and NOAA rules and notices.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: Rule EPA is proposing to approve the Alaska State Implementation Plan (SIP) as meeting specific infrastructure requirements for the fine particulate matter NAAQS. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

Rule FWS determines the eastern puma to be extinct, based on the best available scientific and commercial information. Info here.

Rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 regulatory years. Details here.

Notice FWS invites public to provide information and recommendations on animal and plant species to be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, or the Convention) at the upcoming eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties. Details here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Notice FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry #245 entitled “Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals.” Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule NMFS establishes the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for calendar year 2018 at zero lobsters. Details here.

Rule NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 4 to the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species for review by the Secretary of Commerce. Info here.

Notice NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology’s Economics and Social Analysis Division seeks to conduct assessments of the social and economic impacts from hurricanes and other climate related natural disasters on commercial and recreational fishing industries in the eastern, gulf coast and Caribbean territories of the United States. Info here.

Notice this NMFS information collection serves as a family of forms for Atlantic highly migratory species dealer reporting, including purchases of HMS from domestic fishermen, and the import, export, and/or re-export of HMS, including federally managed tunas, sharks, and swordfish. Info here.