Environmental Agriculture

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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

RSB Votes To Approve Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria And Compliance Indicators

On June 1, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) voted to pass the new Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators standard. The standard was approved as an optional module for those undergoing...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

Release of Personal Information Called ‘Unlawful’ and a ‘Threat to Privacy’ in Appeals Brief

After a federal district court dismissed a case filed against the EPA, thereby upholding the validity of the EPA's public release of personal information about farmers and their families, the American Farm Bureau Federation...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

The Oman Update - The Official Gazette 1102

Sultani Decrees - Sultani Decree 20/2015 - Promulgating the GCC Common Law of Anti-dumping, Countervailing Measures & Safeguards. Sultani Decree 21/2015 - Granting Omani nationality to 288 named...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

Insights Newsletter - Spring 2015

In This Issue: - The Importance of Accredited Investors for Small Business Capital Formation - “All Appropriate Inquiries”: Update on the Environmental Due Diligence Standard - A Hunt for Justice Erodes...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

Big Win for Anti-GMO Groups as Federal Judge Upholds Jackson County GMO Ban

On Friday, Federal Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke partially dismissed a lawsuit brought by commercial alfalfa farmers seeking to overturn a Jackson County ordinance that banned the use of GMO seed stock (“It is a county...more

EPA Proposes Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014-2016

On May 29, EPA took long-awaited action on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), with the unusual step of proposing standards for several years at once. EPA is reproposing the 2014 RFS—its original proposal of November 2013...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

3 Vetoes; 2 Hearing Rooms; 1 Month ‘Til Shutdown

Vetoed Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two more budget bills (he vetoed E-12 last week) over the last weekend. The latest vetoes mean there are even more issues for legislators and the Governor to resolve in a Special Session. No...more

2015 Florida Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

The Florida Legislature concluded its 2015 regular session on May 1, 2015. However, for all practical purposes, the session ended on April 28, when the House unexpectedly adjourned three days early after it became clear the...more

EPA Issues Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2015, seeks comment on a proposal to adopt mandatory...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

New Executive Order on Federal Sustainability Promotes Responsible Government Procurement Policies

In March, President Obama issued Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.” It replaces and updates a number of Executive Orders and Memorandums, most notably replacing Executive Order...more

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