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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

Rural Nevada Anti-Fracking Group Seeks to Enjoin Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Reese River Basin Citizens Against Fracking filed a complaint in federal court on June 27, seeking to enjoin the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from holding an oil and gas lease sale. The rural group is...more

EPA Makes Blueberry Farms Collateral Damage in Wetland Battle

One of the important provisions of the 2013 amendments (2013 P.A. 98 or Act 98) to Michigan's wetland statute (Part 303 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act) required the Michigan Department of...more

Fifth District Decides Significant CEQA Air Quality/Health Impact Analysis and Mitigation Issues In Sierra Club v. County of...

In a lengthy and scholastic published opinion filed May 27, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded the trial court’s decision, which had upheld the EIR and other approvals (including a General Plan...more

State Water Quality Control Board to Consider General Waste Discharge Requirements for Recycled Water Use on June 3, 2014

On June 3, 2014, partially in response to lingering drought conditions throughout the state, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) will consider adopting a “general” waste discharge requirements (“WDR”)...more

Commission of Agriculture Approves Revised GAAMP’s Limiting Scope of Right to Farm Act

For over a year, the Michigan Ag Commission has considered expanding the scope of the "site selection" GAAMPs in order to bring even small livestock facilities within its scope. The site selection GAAMPs have traditionally...more

N.C. General Assembly Is Back In Session: Local Government Powers Are In the Spotlight

The North Carolina General Assembly has returned to Raleigh for its "short session", and the legislative bodies are already off to the races with proposed legislation affecting land use controls and local government powers in...more

The Grapes of Wrath Part II - A Return to Horne

In June of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Horne v. Department of Agriculture holding that California raisin handlers could assert a takings claim as an affirmative defense to an enforcement...more

USDA Announces Economic Development Grants to Rural Communities

Applications due June 13 for grants that will promote sustainable economic development - New grants from the United States Department of Agriculture will help promote sustainable economic development in rural...more

No Bull: Santa Cruz County Rodeo Qualifies for CEQA Exemption

In Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California ex rel. 14th District Agricultural Association, et al. (3rd App. Dist., March 26, 2014), the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision to exempt a...more

Real World Implications of Forest Service’s New Process for Finalizing Records Of Decision

About a year ago, the Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a final rule establishing a ?new and exclusive process for filing objections to certain proposed National Forest Service (“NFS”) ?projects and activities (78...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - DWR must acquire properties before testing tunnel for diversion of water to Southern California - CourtHouse News - Mar 17: A California appellate court ruled last week that, before...more

Texas Environmental Update - February 14, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

Draft GAPP Public Comments Due February 21, 2014

The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are accepting public comments until February 21, 2014 on the 2014 drafts of Michigan's Generally...more

New Law Eliminates Any Clean Water Act NPDES Permit Requirement For Logging Road Stormwater Runoff

On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the 2014 Farm Bill, H.R. 2642. Section 12313 of the Bill (Silvicultural Activities) amends the Clean Water Act to make clear that a National Pollutant Discharge...more

Michigan Department Of Ag Looks To Limit Scope Of Right To Farm Act

Now: Currently, commercial farms are protected from local regulation, including zoning restrictions. The existing "Site Selection" GAAMPs, which generally require large livestock production facilities to be located in...more

Fish and Wildlife Service’s Proposal to List Lesser Prairie Chicken as “Threatened” Could Have Impact on Industries

On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a proposed rule to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LEPC) as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The LEPC is a ground-dwelling...more

Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2013

In This Issue: - Proposed EPA Water Rule Could Expand Regulatory Authority Over Streams and Wetlands - USDA Finalizes Import Regulations for "Mad Cow Disease" - Organic Farmers Effected by Farm Bill Extension...more

DEQ Proposes Wetland General Permit For Blueberry Farming, Public Comment Period Now Open

On December 30, 2013, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ("DEQ") publicly noticed a proposed general permit category for activities in wetlands. The activity involves blueberry farming and it -- at long-last --...more

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments (November 2013)

STATE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD - A. Proposed Regulations - 1. 9VAC5-130. Regulation for Open Burning (Rev. E12) (amending 9VAC5-130-10 through 9VAC5-130-50, 9VAC5-130-100; repealing 9VAC5-130-60)....more

GMO Laws Take Root in Hawai‘i

Recently, two counties in the State of Hawai‘i passed laws that restrict the growth and cultivation of genetically modified crops (“GMO”). Kaua‘i County passed Bill 2491 after overriding a mayoral veto on November 16, 2013....more

Oregon Court Limits Agri-tourism at Farm Stands

A land use decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals could impact farm marketing activities across the state, imposing new permitting requirements and forcing changes to business operations. The case, Greenfield v....more

McAfee & Taft AgLINC - Fall 2013: More than just a handshake - Due diligence, purchase contract required for real estate purchases

In western Oklahoma, where this author was born and raised, a handshake is often all that takes place to solidify a deal for the sale or purchase of a piece of land. The need for a purchase contract or anything other than a...more

Public Interest in Renewable Energy May Outweigh the Purpose of the Williamson Act; Cancellation of Williamson Act Contracts May...

After a Central Valley county cancelled Williamson Act contracts on ranchland to make way for a solar energy plant, several environmental groups sued challenging the County’s decision. The trial court found against the...more

US federal agencies to seek expanded Clean Water Act regulatory jurisdiction over aggregate mines and farmlands

The US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) are poised to propose a new rule that would significantly expand their regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. While many...more

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