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

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us TODAY at 12 noon (ET) for an Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar: U.S. Agriculture Trade:  Overview and Update on Current and Emerging Issues. Details available here.

JUDICIAL: Includes renewable energy and landowner liability. 

In IN RE INVESTIGATION INTO PROGRAMMATIC ADJUSTMENTS TO the STANDARD–OFFER PROGRAM (Renewable Energy Vermont, Appellant), No. 2017–165, 2018 WL 2170343 (Vt. May 11, 2018), appellant Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) sought reversal of an order by the Vermont Public Utility Commission changing “technology allocations in the standard-offer program for renewable energy projects.” Appellant maintained the Commission erred by eliminating the technology set-asides for large wind, hydroelectric power, and biomass power in the March 2017 standard-offer program and asked the court to remand the case to the Commission “with a direction to set aside capacity for large wind, biomass, and hydroelectric projects for 2018 and future years.” Court reasoned appellant’s argument was “speculative” and assumed there would be no set aside for technologies in future years. Court concluded appellant sought an advisory opinion and dismissed the case.

In Carolyn S. RAUP, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VAIL SUMMIT RESORTS, INC., Defendant-Appellee, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Amicus Curiae, No. 17-1039, 2018 WL 2110726 (10th Cir. May 8, 2018), plaintiff was injured on a ski lift and sued defendant for negligence under Colorado’s Premises Liability Act (PLA). Lower court dismissed negligence claim as “preempted by the PLA and granted summary judgment to defendant as “barred by a waiver on the lift ticket.” On appeal, plaintiff argued the waiver she signed was unenforceable. Appellate court affirmed, noting that per Colorado’s common-law test for waiver enforceability, the release was “fairly entered into” and “expressed in clear and unambiguous language.”


S. 35: Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act. Passed in the Senate on December 21, 2017 and goes to the House next for consideration.

H.R. 2991: Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act. Added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

REGULATORY: Includes EPA, FSIS, and NOAA rules and notices.


Rule establishes tolerances for residues of tebuconazole in or on ginseng, fresh at 0.15 parts per million and ginseng, dried at 0.40 ppm. Bayer CropScience LP, requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Info here.

Rule EPA is proposing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Surface Coating of Wood Building Products to address the results of the residual risk and technology review that the EPA is required to conduct under the Clean Air Act. Details here.


Rule FSIS is proposing to amend the Federal meat inspection regulations by removing the provision requiring the cleaning of hog carcasses before any incision is made preceding evisceration. Info here.

Notice FSIS will renew the approved information collection regarding requirements for official establishments to notify FSIS of adulterated or misbranded product, prepare and maintain written recall procedures, and document certain HACCP plan reassessments. Info here.

Notice FSIS will revise the approved information collection regarding voluntary recalls from commerce of meat, poultry, and egg products. Details here.


Rule NMFS closes the Gulf of Mexico Angling category fishery for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna. Info here.

Rule NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) for commercial king mackerel in the northern zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) through this temporary rule. Info here.

Notice the SEDAR 58 Cobia Stock ID Process will be a multi-step process consisting of a series of workshops and webinars: Stock ID Workshop; Stock ID Review Workshop; Joint Cooperator Technical Review; and Science and Management Leadership Call. Details here.

Notice the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Legislative Committee will meet on June 5, 2018 in Kodiak, AK. Details here.

Notice NMFS has received a request from Kitsap Transit for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the Annapolis Passenger Ferry Dock Project in Puget Sound, Washington. Details here.