The Clean Water Act,  EPA Regulation, and the Future of Farming

Provided with generous support from Banks Law Firm, PLLC



The federal government  has long played a significant role in the agricultural sector. And, in recent years, the Environmental  Protection Agency has played an increasingly significant role in agriculture,  particularly under the regulation of water quality under the Clean Water  Act. The current and future role of EPA  regulation is extremely significant to the agricultural sector. It is imperative that producers, landowners,  and others have a basic understanding of the role that EPA and the U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers has in the future of American agriculture and especially  throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin. This webinar will provide that understanding with a focus on the recent  lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the EPA.

This free webinar is part of a series of educational webinars provided  by the National Agricultural Law Center with generous support from the Banks Law Firm, PLLC. The gift was given in order to provide a  legal education series focused on southern agricultural producers and to help  publicize the 25th Anniversary of the National Agricultural Law  Center, the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and  information. For more information about the gift and the  educational series, click here.

Brief Background On March 13, 2012, the  Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmental groups  filed a lawsuit against the EPA seeking to force EPA to establish numeric standards  for at least 31 states in the Mississippi River Basin. That case, Gulf Restoration Network, et. al., Case No. 12-cv-677, filed in  federal district court in Louisiana could have very significant impacts on  farming in the southern United States and throughout the Mississippi River  Basin. The outcome of the case will be  very significant for farmers, municipalities, fertilizer companies, and others  operating throughout the Mississippi River Basin.

The lawsuit could  ultimately impact the use of fertilizer and other farming practices used in the  targeted areas, and has drawn significant opposition from agricultural  groups. For example, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Mississippi Farm Bureau, the National Pork Producers Council, along  with nearly a dozen other state Farm Bureau organizations, and many other national  and regional agricultural organizations, filed a motion to intervene and defeat  the lawsuit filed by environmental groups against EPA.

The lawsuit follows a  similar legal action brought in Florida that resulted in EPA moving forward  with the establishment of numeric nutrient criteria in that state, which has  also been opposed by many in the agricultural community. Similar to the current legal action, the  Florida lawsuit has drawn criticism and concern from many in the agricultural  community.

This free webinar is designed for anyone – producers, landowners,  extension personnel, and others – interested in updated information on the Clean  Water Act and discussion of the possible pending regulatory and litigious  changes. If interested, please help  publicize this webinar to your networks via listserves, twitter, Facebook, or  other avenues.


Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Time: 12 p.m. to  1 p.m. (EDT) / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CDT)

Cost: Free of Charge

To participate in the webinar:

Participating in the webinar is very easy, even if this is the first webinar  in which you have participated. At 12  EDT, simply click here: and sign in as a  guest. Before viewing the webinar,  please visit the following URL to confirm your ability to connect to the  server:


Harrison Pittman, Director of the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The Center is the nation’s leading source of  agricultural and food law research and information, serving the nation’s  agricultural community consisting of producers, attorneys, state and federal  policy makers, extension personnel, and others throughout the United  States.

Mr. Pittman has an extensive  background in agricultural and food law and has served in multiple capacities  at the Center since 2001. He received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas  at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, after attending Mississippi  State University and graduating the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He  earned an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of  Law’s Graduate Program in Agricultural Law. Mr. Pittman teaches Environmental and Natural Resources  Law and Introduction  to Agricultural Law in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural,  Food, & Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and  Agribusiness. He is an active member of the American Agricultural Law  Association (AALA), and was the first recipient of the AALA’s Excellence in  Agricultural Law award in 2010. Mr. Pittman has taught at the University of  Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law as part of the Ben J.  Altheimer Distinguished Professorship for Agricultural Law.

Grant Ballard, Research Consultant to the National Agricultural Law Center, primarily  working with federal crop insurance, farm bill issues, and other issues  relative to agricultural producers. Mr.  Ballard is a practicing agricultural attorney and an associate with the Banks Law Firm PLLC, in Little Rock,  Arkansas, a firm that represents agricultural producers. Mr. Ballard focuses a  portion of his agricultural law practice on the representation of farmers in  regard to crop insurance disputes and has written on crop insurance litigation  in the past. Mr. Ballard assists in Center research and information activities,  including publishing factsheets and other articles such as Prevented Planting   Crop Insurance: Overview, Drought, and Excessive Moisture, Filing  a Crop Insurance Claim: An Overview for Producers and The  Federal Crop Insurance Program: Administration, Structure, and Operation. His Practitioner’s Guide to the Litigation  of Federally Reinsured Crop Insurance Claims is scheduled to be  published in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law in the fall of 2012. He  received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law and  recently completed his LL.M., in Agricultural Law. In his private practice, Mr.  Ballard will give legal counsel to agricultural producers in a variety of areas  including: crop insurance, commercial agricultural disputes, and issues  involving the United States Department of Agriculture farm programs as well as  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions.