Posted August 15, 2013

On August 1, S. 1466 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).  According to Sen. Kirk’s press release, the bill, titled “Review EPA’s Language on Agriculture and Thoroughly Engage (RELATE) with the Farm Act of 2013” would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to review any proposed rule or regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that “may affect agriculture and to seek farmers’ advice and recommendations.”  That press release is available here.

According to the text of the bill, the RELATE with the Farm Act would require the Secretary of Agriculture to review “each notice issued by the [EPA] and published in the Federal Register relating to the preparation of any guidance, policy, memorandum, regulation, or statement of general applicability and future effect that may have a significant impact on a substantial number of agricultural entities.”
If the Secretary of Agriculture finds a “significant impact” on agricultural entities, the bill requires the Secretary to produce an “economic impact statement” and convene a “review panel” to make “findings,” then “publish the comments” in the Federal Register. 
The text of the bill is available here.
A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. House Representatives as well. That bill is H.R. 2776, and is sponsored by Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) and co-sponsored by three dozen members of the House.  The text of H.R. 2776 is available on the Government Printing Office (GPO) website, and can be directly uploaded here.