Environmental Agriculture

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Biobased Mulch Added To USDA National Organic Program

USDA has amended the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances maintained by the National Organic Program (NOC) to allow biodegradable biobased mulch film to be used in organic production with restrictive...more

Wal-Mart And Target Host Beauty And Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit

Target and Wal-Mart hosted the first ever Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit on September 4, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois. Target has seen sales of natural and organic products in the beauty and personal...more

USDA awards $68 million for energy projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $68 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The latest round of awards under the agency's Rural Development arm's Rural...more

Growing Michigan - Third Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals - U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill -...more

Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") does not have to ban the practice of feeding antibiotics to healthy, food-producing animals. This ruling is controversial because of public...more

DOE Announces Funding Opportunity For Targeted Algal Biofuels And Bioproducts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million in funding to reduce the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. On behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office...more

Researchers Develop Technique For Turning Winery Waste Into Biofuels

Winery waste is composed of the skins, pulp, stalks, and seeds that are left over after grapes have been pressed. This waste cannot be used for animal feed or composted, so it typically ends up as toxic landfill. Researchers...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine Senate Confirms 50 of 51 Gubernatorial Nominees - On September 30th, the Maine...more

No Michigan Wolf Hunt for 2014

The Michigan Natural Resource Commission recently decided that it will not hold a wolf hunt this year, even if voters approve two referendums on the November 4 ballot permitting wolf hunting. The November 4 referendums ask...more

Proposed MAEAP Rules Narrow “Right to Farm” Protection

Proposed rule changes in the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) have excluded some farmers from MAEAP verification and protection....more

Secretary Vilsack Confirms Administration Support For Biofuel Production Level

Last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at a biofuel industry conference and addressed concerns raised over the likelihood that the final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule would...more

USDA Invests $68 Million In 540 Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Projects

On September 18, 2014, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. This is the most recent in a series of USDA actions designed to help...more

House Passes Bill to Prevent EPA Overreach

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation prohibiting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying,...more

Bridging Troubled Water: Yes or No on California Prop 1?

Fall is here. Most of us can't tell, given the soaring temperatures outside. A better thermometer might be the onslaught of political commercials we're now seeing on television. To prepare for the elections in...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of...more

USDA Awards Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC $105 Million Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guaranteed a $105 million loan through Bank of America, N.A. to help Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels build a plant in McCarran, Nevada that would convert municipal waste into renewable...more

Second DOE-Funded Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery Opened

On September 3, 2014, POET-DSM's Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa, celebrated its grand opening. This will be the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant to use corn waste as a feedstock, using biochemical...more

New Bioinsecticide Approved In California

Venerate Bioinsecticide, a new broad-spectrum insecticide produced by Marrone Bio Innovations, has been approved for use in California in both conventional and organic systems. The bioinsecticide is non-toxic to beneficial...more

Judge Overturns Kauai County Pesticide and GMO Law

On August 25, the federal district court for Hawaii vacated Kauai County’s Ordinance 960, which imposed mandatory disclosure obligations regarding the use of certain pesticides and the cultivation of genetically modified...more

Agriculture in Crosshairs as White House Targets Methane Emissions

In March 2014, the Obama administration released a 15-page interagency guidance document that laid out preliminary steps for reducing methane emissions. That document asserts that agricultural operations are the top methane...more

New Research Studies On Invasiveness And Bioenergy Crops

The Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois recently helped fund two research projects that provide recommendations to prevent invasive species from being planted as new crops and used for bioenergy...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Environmental Protection Agency 111(d) Proposed Rule - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of...more

The United States and Several Western Water Providers Enter into a Historic Agreement to Mitigate the Effects of the Drought...

The Colorado River and its extensive system of reservoirs and aqueducts that range from Wyoming to the Mexican border are being depleted by more than a decade of severe drought. As a result, the water levels in the two...more

EPA Outlines Options Under Consideration for Risk Management Program Modernization – Will the "Safety Case" Model Cross the Pond?

On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a request for information (RFI) on changes the Agency is considering for its Risk Management Program (RMP) accident prevention regulations under section...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Lands Commission files suit to overturn S.F.'s Prop. B: SFGate.com - Jul 15: The State Lands Commission filed suit Tuesday to overturn San Francisco's voter-approved limits on...more

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