Agriculture Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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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

Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)

Pursuant to the Clean Water Act’s Oil Spill Pollution, Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Rule (SPCC Rule), farmers and other oil storage and handling facilities are required to have an SPCC Plan to prevent oil spills...more

Corn-Based Ethanol Debate Intensifies – – A Bit

A recent article in USA Today questions whether ethanol’s days are numbered. While that article is written from the perspective of whether the stock of ethanol producing companies is a good investment, it focuses on some of...more

Vineyard's Attorney Fees Claim Turns Into Sour Grapes

In Belle Terre Ranch Inc. v. Wilson, 2015 DJDAR 506, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided an agricultural trespass action involving an attorney fees claim....more

Subdividing Land

When we think of subdivisions, we generally think of large housing estates with a house on each lot, but technically the subdivision of land means the creation of saleable lots by splitting a tract into smaller parcels....more

Georgia Governor Expected to Sign Overhaul to Soil and Water Commission (HB 397)

On Friday, March 27, 2015 the Georgia legislature passed HB 397, overhauling the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission (“Commission“). HB 397 is intended to curb the Commission’s independence and streamline its...more

New York Amends Agriculture and Markets Law To Provide Real Property Exemption For Silvopasture

For the first time, New York will classify silvopasture as agricultural land for the purpose of real property tax exemptions. This new classification could result in substantial tax savings for any livestock owner that uses...more

Proposed Changes to Australia's Foreign Investment Framework

In response to the findings of a recent report on Foreign Investment in Residential Real Estate (Report) by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics (Committee), the Commonwealth Government of Australia is...more

California Groundwater Users Face Unpredictable Legal Frontier

In 2014, for the first time in its 164-year history, California enacted a law that comprehensively regulates the extraction and use of the state’s groundwater. This legislative action came against the dramatic backdrop of...more

EU Passes Controversial Directive Concerning GMOs

On March 2, 2015, European Union (EU) Ministers approved a Directive previously approved by the European Parliament with regard to genetically modified organisms (GMO). ...more

Protective Order Issued in Suit to Stop EPA from Releasing Farmers’ Information

A federal district court in Minnesota recently issued a protective order prohibiting the EPA from releasing information about animal feeding operations—including farmers' names, home addresses, telephone numbers and email...more

Grants Available for Specialty Crops – March 26 Deadline

In early February 2015, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD) announced the availability of a series of grants for Michigan specialty crop growers. The grants are funded by...more

CEQA Roundup – Recent Developments

Numerous CEQA-related developments have recently been in the news. Some of possible interest include: Kings and Kern Counties, the Kings County Farm Bureau, and a number of other groups filed a petition on February 9 with the...more

USDA Releases 2016 Budget Request, Continues To Support Rural Renewable Energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its fiscal year 2016 budget request on February 2, 2015. The proposed budget is $156 billion total, with $6 billion going directly to loans that will encourage cleaner fossil...more

EPA Releases For Public Comment Controversial “EPA Framework for PIP Registrants: Proposal to Address Key SAP Recommendations for...

On January 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has made available for public comment its proposal to improve the corn rootworm insect resistance management program currently in place for...more

WRI Report Concludes Biofuels Competing With Food Sources

The World Resources Institute (WRI) issued a working paper, "Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land," as part of its series on "Creating a Sustainable Food Future." ...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The House and Senate were busy this week with numerous subcommittee and committee meetings – ethics reform, surface water withdrawal, Pollution Control Act/DHEC Board review, and budget deliberations were a few of the items...more

Ruling Applies RCRA to Dairy Practices for the First Time

Community Ass’n for Restoration of the Envt. v. Cow Palace, The Dolsen Companies, and Three D, Case No. 13-3016 (E.D. Wash.) On January 14, 2015, Judge Thomas O. Rice of the Eastern District of Washington ruled that...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Cow Manure Claims

In its recent decision in Wilson Mut. Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2014 WI 136, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had occasion had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm, and which migrates from the insured’s...more

Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - GAPPs Improve Michigan Food Processing - 30 Projects Announced to Support Michigan Specialty Crop Growers - Proposed Privacy Fences Around Michigan Apiaries - Great Lakes Ag-Tech...more

Conservation Easements Are Not Required As Mitigation For Permanent Loss Of Farmland

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, the California Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the County of Fresno’s adoption of an Environmental Impact Report for a mining operation that will result in a permanent...more

Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

Brownstein’s Annual Water Rights Compliance Checklist for 2015

This checklist provides a summary of state water right reporting requirements and applicable deadlines for users of surface or groundwater in California. If you have questions about the information contained in this...more

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