Environmental Agriculture

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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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California State Water Board seeks fines from local water district for alleged drought-related violations: Sacramento Bee - Jul 20 - State drought regulators went on the offensive against...more

Modernizing and Coordinating the Regulatory System of Biotechnology Products

On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) of the Office of the President issued a memorandum to initiate a process to coordinate, update and modernize the federal regulatory system governing...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

Dead in the Water: The Western Water and American Food Security Act

The Western Water and American Food Security Act was — and is — pre-ordained to fail. It exacerbates the split within California over drought response, takes on the always controversial Endangered Species Act and, thereby,...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 Gets Closer To Issuing Final Rule On Revisions To Minimum Risk Exemption For Pesticides

On June 24, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notification that the EPA Administrator has forwarded to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretary of the...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

Australia Publishes Final Report on Regulatory Considerations for Nanotechnologies for Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) published on July 6, 2015, the final report entitled Nanotechnologies for pesticides and veterinary medicines: regulatory considerations. According to the...more

Senators Sign Letter Of Support For Consistent Federal Biomass Policy

On June 30, 2015, 46 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and USDA stating that "[f]ederal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions...more

White House And Agencies Release Coordinated Biotechnology Regulatory Framework

With little fanfare or advanced notice to the general public, on July 2, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the...more

Biotechnology: White House Announces Effort to Modernize the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products

In a bit of a surprise announcement, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality released...more

Biotechnology: White House Directs EPA, FDA, and USDA to Update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology

With little fanfare or advanced notice to the general public, on July 2, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the...more

BLM Receives Challenges to Greater Sage-Grouse Plans From All Sides

Following the May 28, 2015 release by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of 14 final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for land use plans designed to provide greater protection to the greater sage-grouse on...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

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

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

DOE Announces $55 million To Fund GENSETS And TERRA Programs

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $55 million in funding for projects to accelerate biomass development and develop generator technologies under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy...more

USDA Announces Biobased Products Report And Changes To Biobased Programs

On June 17, 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a report to congress that builds on the Why Biobased? report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014. The new report, An...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

USDA Is Now Accepting Applications From States For Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership

On June 12, 2015, the USDA began accepting applications for grants under the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), BIP will provide up to $100 million in grants to support...more

USDA Issues Final Rule Amending Voluntary Labeling Program For Biobased Products

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final amendments to the regulations concerning the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products. The rule is intended to incorporate statutory amendments...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

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