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

                                                                                                                                               

JUDICIAL: Includes water law, the CWA

In Clean Water Action v. U.S. EPA, 936 F.3d 308 (5th Cir. 2019), the court considered a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by environmental conservation groups who sought review of a final EPA order revising compliance dates for new best available technology (BAT) effluent limitations and pretreatment standards concerning waste streams from steam electric power generating point sources under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Specifically, plaintiffs sought review of changes to a 2015 Rule that postponed for two years the compliance dates for flue gas desulfurization wastewater and bottom ash transport water. Plaintiff’s argued that EPA’s modification to the 2015 Rule was an “unauthorized stay” of the rule; that EPA failed to “consider mandatory statutory factors before promulgating a revision”; and the EPA failed to comply with what plaintiffs argue was a three-year compliance deadline within the CWA. The court found against plaintiffs on all counts. First, the court concluded that the modifications to the 2015 Rule were not a stay, but rather a revision that had gone through appropriate notice and comment rulemaking. Second, the court found that EPA had not violated any mandatory statutory standards by revising a portion of the 2015 Rule through a transparent rulemaking process. Finally, the court found that the three-year compliance deadline located in the text of the CWA was only applicable to initial promulgations of BAT effluent limitations, but that EPA had the authority to set compliance dates for any BAT subsequent effluent limitations. Based on these conclusions, the court declined to review the revised 2015 Rule.

                                                                                                                       

REGULATORY: Includes AMS, APHIS, EPA, FWS

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE

Final rule implementing a recommendation from the Florida Tomato Committee to redistrict and reapportion producer representation on the Committee currently prescribed under the marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida. Info here.

Final rule amending Marking Order No. 981 which regulates the handling of almonds grown in California. Info here.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE

Notice advising the publish that APHIS has received a petition from Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated statute for cotton designated as MON 88702 which has been genetically engineered for resistance to certain insects. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Final rule establishing tolerances for residues of the pesticide cyclaniliprole in or on multiple commodities. Info here.

Final rule establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl on all food and feed commodities when applied or used as an herbicide under good agricultural practices. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Final rule delaying the effective date of a rule published on August 27, 2019. Info here.