A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
JUDICIAL: Includes Environmental Law
In Protect Our Communities Found. v. LaCounte, 2019 WL 4582841 (9th Cir. 2019) the court addressed the plaintiff’s challenge to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for a wind turbine project that will involve constructing turbines on both federal and tribal land. When drafting the EIS, the drafting agencies discovered that the project would harm golden eagles and golden eagle habitat. With that in mind, the agencies adopted mitigation measures to reduce that harm. The plaintiff argued that the BIA had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in several ways, including failing to consider a reasonable range of alternatives when drafting its EIS because it did not consider the alternative proposed by the plaintiff, and by failing to draft a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) when new information came to light after the publication of the EIS. Ultimately, the court ruled against the plaintiff on all counts, concluding that the EIS analysis was sufficient to satisfy NEPA. The court concluded that the BIA had considered a reasonable range of alternatives when drafting its EIS, finding that nothing the plaintiff had done during the drafting process had put the BIA on alert that there was an alternative that the plaintiff had wanted the agency to consider. The court also concluded that none of the new information that had come to light following the publication of the EIS was drastic enough to warrant the drafting of an SEIS. The court concluded that the BIA had fully complied with NEPA.
REGULATORY: Includes AMS, NOAA
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Final Rule terminating the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order, relieving eligible raspberry producers and importers of requirements of the Order. Info here.
Proposed Rule implementing a recommendation from the Prune Marketing Committee to decrease the assessment rate for dried prunes. Info here.
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
Final Rule amending the definition of “groundfish” and revising the depth boundary permitted for flatfish trawl equipment. Info here.