A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
Judicial: EPA, Environmental, CAFO, Insurance
THE STATE OF COLORADO by & through the Colorado Dep’t of Nat. Res., the Div. of Parks & Wildlife, & the Parks & Wildlife Comm’n, Plaintiff, BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF GUNNISON, COLORADO, & GUNNISION COUNTY STOCKGROWERS’ ASSOCIATION, INC., Plaintiff-Intervenors, & THE STATE OF UTAH, & SAN JUAN COUNTY, UTAH, Plaintiff-Intervenors, v. UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, JAMES KURTH, in his official capacity as acting Dir. of the United States Fish & Wildlife Serv., & RYAN ZINKE, in his official capacity as Sec’y of the United States Dep’t of the Interior, Defendants, WILDEARTH GUARDIANS, & DR. CLAIT E. BRAUN, Defendant-Intervenors, & CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, & WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT, Defendant-Intervenors., No. 15-CV-00286-CMA-STV, 2018 WL 4627108 (D. Colo. Sept. 27, 2018);
This case is about the Gunnison sage-grouse, a native North American bird, known for its elaborate mating rituals and expansive use of sagebrush country. At issue is the degree of protection required to ensure the species’ long-term conservation—a topic on which the Parties vehemently disagree and from which this federal action stems. This appeal follows the November 14, 2014 issuance by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) of Final Rules adding the Gunnison sage-grouse to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (“Final Rule”). (AR at 199346–199518.) Specifically, the Service listed the Gunnison sage-grouse species as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531– 1541, and designated 1.4 million acres in Colorado and Utah as “critical habitat” for the bird. (Id.) Numerous entities now challenge that Final Rule. Among them are the State of Colorado; the Board of County Commissioners for the County of Gunnison, Colorado and the Gunnison County Stockgrowers’ Association, Inc.; and the State of Utah and San Juan County, Utah (Plaintiffs collectively). Plaintiffs contend that the Service erred in numerous ways—procedurally and substantively—and request that this Court vacate the Final Rule. Having thoroughly considered Plaintiffs’ arguments; Federal Defendants’ and Defendant-Intervenors’ responses; the entire Administrative Record; and the applicable law, the Court affirms the Service’s determinations and denies Plaintiffs’ request to vacate the Final Listing Rule.
Re: Slaubaugh Farm, Inc., et al. v. Farm Family Cas. Ins. Co., No. CV S16C-06-033 ESB, 2018 WL 4613595 (Del. Super. Ct. Sept. 19, 2018); Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reargument of decision granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant FarmFamily Casualty Insurance Company on its denial of insurance coverage for the collapse during a blizzard of the Plaintiffs’ chicken house was denied.
BRETT LILLEMOE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: GTR, LLC, Jonathan Doster, Phillip Rowse, No. 15-CV-2047 (DLF), 2018 WL 4623034 (D.D.C. Sept. 25, 2018); The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) administers a federal program designed to finance U.S. agricultural exports. Plaintiffs bring this suit against FAS under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment, asserting that FAS intentionally applied program regulations and policies to them unequally for no adequate reason. The plaintiffs also bring Bivens claims against two individual FAS employees, asserting that they personally treated the plaintiffs differently from other program participants without a rational basis. Before the Court is the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure The Court granted the motion in part and denied it in part.
RITA PALFREYMAN, Appellant v. BECKY GACONNET AND LESLIE JONES, Appellees, No. 14-17-00472-CV, 2018 WL 4624208 (Tex. App. Sept. 27, 2018); This appeal presents the question of whether companion animals—pet dogs—can be considered “stock” for purposes of awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 38.001(6) in lawsuits concerning their injury or death. Concluding that dogs owned by an individual solely for companionship are not stock for purposes of the statute, we affirm the trial court’s refusal to award attorney’s fees in this case.
FOOD & WATER WATCH, Appellant, v. DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, Appellee., No. CV N17A-03-006 AML, 2018 WL 4613594 (Del. Super. Ct. Sept. 24, 2018); After this Court reversed an appeal board’s decision that denied a party’s standing to challenge a permit for a concentrated animal feeding operation, the administrative agency that issued the permit filed an untimely application to certify this Court’s order to the Delaware Supreme Court for interlocutory review. The agency’s application requires this Court to consider whether the agency’s mistaken belief that the reversal order was a final appealable order amounts to good cause justifying the untimely application.
Regulatory: USDA, EPA
Petition: Petition To Permit Waivers of Maximum Line Speeds for Young Chicken Establishments Operating Under the New Poultry Inspection System; Criteria for Consideration of Waiver Requests for Young Chicken Establishments To Operate at Line Speeds of Up to 175 Birds per Minute. Info Here
Notice: The EPA requests public nominations of scientific experts to be considered for ad hoc participation on the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) through membership on the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Science Review Board (SRB). All nominees will be considered for ad hoc participation providing independent scientific advice to the EPA on health and safety issues related to pesticides. The FIFRA SAP is comprised of biologists, statisticians, toxicologists and other experts and is assisted in their reviews by members of the FQPA SRB. Info Here