Environmental Agriculture Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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New Legislation in North Carolina Impacts the Agribusiness Industry

In the recently ended session in the General Assembly, Senate Bill 770 was enacted. This bill is entitled “An Act To Provide Further Regulatory Relief To The Agricultural Community.”...more

What You Need to Know about the Proposed Revisions to Cap and Trade

Late Tuesday, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released draft amendments to the state’s cap and trade regulation, including revisions to the current program in place through 2020, an extension of the program through...more

Legislative Update

With negotiations on the budget bill (H1030) continuing outside the public view, this week the General Assembly focused on other issues. Body Cameras (H972) - The House Judiciary II Committee approved a plan to...more

USDA Announces Availability Of BCAP Funding For Farmers, Foresters, And Ranchers

On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) had resumed incentives for farmers and foresters producing biomass for renewable...more

Municipalities, Farmers, and Manufacturers Targeted by EPA's New Enforcement Initiatives

Municipalities and those involved in animal feeding and food manufacturing operations take heed: heightened EPA scrutiny is coming your way!...more

Sustainable Bioenergy And Bioproducts Challenge Area Announces $21 Million In Funding

On May 18, 2016, USDA announced $21 million in funding to support the development of regional systems for bioenergy and biobased products. The funding is provided through AFRI's Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP)...more

Competing Budgets

Lengthy floor sessions ensued this week as House and Senate lawmakers took up supplemental budget bills in their respective chambers. The Republican House had three bills to debate over the course of the week. The DFL Senate...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Metropolitan Water District signs deal to buy Delta islands for $175 million - Sacramento Bee - Apr 11 - Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) signed a...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Bill would limit communications with California Coastal Commission: Santa Barbara Independent - Mar 23 - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced plans to introduce a bill...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - United Airlines takes off with biofuel - Los Angeles Times - Mar 13 - A Boeing 737 jet that took off from Los Angeles International Airport last week looked like most other planes...more

Chesapeake Bay TMDL Here to Stay

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to consider an appeal challenging EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL), thereby bringing to an end the contentious years-long litigation over its legality. The Court’s...more

Texas Groundwater Case Opens New Front in Regulatory Takings Claims

Water rights lawsuits are not new. But a recent ruling in Texas sets new precedent in the fight for groundwater. There, a Texas trial court recently awarded pecan farmers Glenn and JoLynn Bragg $2.5 million for their lost...more

Federal Activities Report On The Bioeconomy Release Announced At ABLC2016

On February 18, 2016, at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference 2016 (ABLC2016), Dr. Catherine Woteki, Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Water Project deliveries to cities and farms increased SFGate - Feb 24 With a bit more snow in the Sierra than in years past, California officials on Wednesday boosted the...more

Tom Vilsack Responds To Studies On Evolution Of Ethanol Production

On February 16, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to two recent reports on ethanol and renewable fuels. The first report was published by USDA and is on "2015 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry," and...more

European Commission Adopts the New Circular Economy Package

Unwrapping the New Circular Economy Package - The European Commission is driving the transition to a stronger and more circular economy by ensuring resources are used in a more sustainable way. On 2 December 2015, the...more

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change – Implications for Africa

The historic 21st annual meeting (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December 2015 resulted in the Paris Agreement (Agreement) which goes further than any previous climate...more

Food-Processing Sector May Be U.S. EPA’s Next Enforcement Target

Every three years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national enforcement initiatives to focus its civil and criminal enforcement resources on specific environmental issues. On September 15, 2015,...more

DWR Put’s Money Where Its Mouth Is In Ag Water Efficiency Grant Program

California’s unique geography and climate have allowed the State to become one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts...more

Biofuel, Corn, And Sorghum Farmers Challenge Lowered RFS Volumes

On January 8, 2016, seven biofuel and agriculture groups requested the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The Petition was filed by Biotechnology...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - State lawmaker seeks to close old SoCal Gas wells in Aliso Canyon - Los Angeles Business - Jan 12 State Senator Fran Pavley is calling for Southern California Gas Co. to close older...more

[Event] Agribusiness Expansion Impacts on Wastewater Utilities: How to Plan and Support a Successful Project - Jan. 27th, Grand...

TECHNICAL AND ENGINEERING ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION WHEN ASSESSING PROJECT VIABILITY David Filipiak and Wayne Langeland, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc....more

DOE, EPA, And USDA Release Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report

On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report. The report shows the...more

Senator Stabenow Introduces Legislation To Provide Tax Credits For Renewable Chemical Production

On November 10, 2015, Senator Stabenow (D-MI), along with Senators Coons (D-DE) and Franken (D-MN), introduced S. 2271, the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2015 to the Senate. If passed, the bill would amend the Internal Revenue...more

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