Agriculture Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Waters of the United States Are Not What You’d Expect

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ new rule defining “waters of the United States” covered by the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) provides a good example of what can happen when a simple term gets...more

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL Survives Legal Challenge: Stricter Water Quality Regulation of Farms, Municipalities, Industry, and...

On July 6, 2015, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously rejected a challenge brought by agricultural and builder groups to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay...more

May 29, 2015 Legislative Update

Vetoes - Within 24 hours, Governor McCrory has vetoed two bills sent to his desk by the General Assembly. Both bills will now go back to the legislature for each chamber to consider whether they will attempt to override...more

Maui GMO Ban Overturned; Federal Court Remains Consistent on Preemption Analysis

This week, the federal district court in Hawaii struck down a Maui County law imposing a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms (GE plants, or GMOs). This decision is the third of three challenges...more

Canadian Province Finalizes Neonic Reduction Rule

The Canadian province of Ontario has issued its final regulations under the Ontario Pesticides Act aimed at reducing the area planted with maize and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides. These changes have...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Most water rights holders facing cuts miss state compliance deadline: Los Angeles Times - Jun 22: The majority of California growers, irrigation districts, and others who have been...more

To Curtail Or Not To Curtail…That Is the Question

On June 12, the State Water Board issued a notice of “unavailability of water” and the “need for immediate curtailment” from various water users holding pre-1914 water rights. Less than two weeks later on June 23, lawyers...more

EPA and the Army Corps Issue Final Clean Water Rule, but Does This New “Line in the Water” Clarify, Expand or Narrow Clean Water...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a final rule (the “Clean Water Rule”) redefining the scope of their shared jurisdiction under...more

California Appellate Court: CDFW Notification Required for Water Diversions

Any plans to “substantially divert” water from a river or stream requires notification to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Court of Appeal found. In reversing a lower court’s decision that favored...more

Fish & Game Code Section 1602 Is Unambiguous, Now Requiring More Water Users To Provide “1602 Notification” To “Substantially...

On June 4, 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled that California Fish and Game Code section 1602 (“Section 1602”) unambiguously requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”) if an entity or individual...more

Special Session: Signed, Sealed and Delivered

The illusive Special Session lived up to its hype. Despite the close proximity of the two temporary chambers in the State Office Building, the bodies were far apart in their desired outcome for the session. After...more

DEQ Announces CAFO Permit Change to Protect Michigan Surface Waters

On May 4, 2015, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced a change to its Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) discharge permits in an effort to better protect the environment and Michigan's...more

MDARD Workgroup Recommends Legislation to Support Urban Livestock Operations

Property owners who want to start or expand commercial livestock operations are required to go through a site verification process designed to ensure compliance with Michigan’s Generally Accepted Agricultural Management...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

New Rule Clarifies Federal Government Authority to Regulate Certain Bodies of Water

The final Waters of the United States rule, jointly proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last spring, was signed on May 26, 2015, and aims to clarify the federal...more

EPA and Corps Final Clean Water Rule’s Potential Impacts on Farming

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a final rule on May 27, 2015, that purports to clarify the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus: EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approve new definition of "waters of the United States" - Allen Matkins - May 27: The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on May...more

A Watershed Moment for Business, Industry, and Agriculture: EPA Releases Final Clean Water Rule

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a final rule clarifying what bodies of water are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water...more

Controversial New Clean Water Rule Unlikely to Significantly Change Regulatory Status Quo

On May 27, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly issued their long-expected and much-debated rule defining which waters are protected by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). In announcing the rule, President Obama...more

Texas Supreme Court Avoids Answering a Fundamental Question in a Wastewater Disposal Case

One year ago, in the May 2014 issue of the Energy Newsletter, we highlighted the case of Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., (2015 WL 496336) an important environmental trespass case pending before the...more

Pollinator Health Task Force Issues National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

On May 19 2015, President Obama’s interagency Pollinator Health Task Force -- co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- issued its long awaited and...more

U.S. House Passes Bill to Revise Corps and EPA Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed rule published in the Federal...more

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