Zoning, Planning & Land Use Agriculture Elections & Politics

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Special Budget Edition: North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

In the early morning hours of September 30, 2015, the House and Senate gave final sign off on the Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 721, Adjournment Resolution. The resolution ended the “long” session, which began in January of...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

With the budget finalized and signed by the Governor last Friday, the General Assembly has turned its attention to adjournment. On Wednesday, the Senate Rules Chairman, Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) introduced Senate Joint...more

May 29, 2015 Legislative Update

Vetoes - Within 24 hours, Governor McCrory has vetoed two bills sent to his desk by the General Assembly. Both bills will now go back to the legislature for each chamber to consider whether they will attempt to override...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

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

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

Pollinator Health Task Force Issues National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

On May 19 2015, President Obama’s interagency Pollinator Health Task Force -- co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- issued its long awaited and...more

U.S. House Passes Bill to Revise Corps and EPA Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed rule published in the Federal...more

Georgia Governor Expected to Sign Overhaul to Soil and Water Commission (HB 397)

On Friday, March 27, 2015 the Georgia legislature passed HB 397, overhauling the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission (“Commission“). HB 397 is intended to curb the Commission’s independence and streamline its...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The House and Senate were busy this week with numerous subcommittee and committee meetings – ethics reform, surface water withdrawal, Pollution Control Act/DHEC Board review, and budget deliberations were a few of the items...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

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

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

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

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

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

Farmers Win Some And Lose More In Michigan Wetland Amendments

Public Act 98 of 2013 signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on July 2, 2013 brought about long-expected changes to Michigan's wetland statute....more

House Defeats Farm Bill, Senate Advances Modest Energy Legislation – ML Strategies Weekly Energy and Environmental Update

Ten days after the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill 66-27, the House defeated the $940 billion H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, on June 20. Next steps on the measure are...more

Growing Rural/Metro Schism in the Minnesota House

The downside to being in the majority in any partisan legislative body is the difficulty of managing a diverse group of members. This challenge is very evident this session in the Minnesota House of Representatives;...more

MISS Dig Bills Pass In Michigan Senate, Stall In House

Legislation creating a new MISS Dig law passed the Michigan Senate on November 29 in a 26-12 vote, but failed to make it through the House before the 2012 Legislative Session closed on December 13. Supporters plan to...more

Ninth Circuit Ruling that Rainwater Runoff from Logging Roads Is a Point Source Discharge Requiring NPDES Permitting Is Under...

In August, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in NEDC v. Brown, in which the court overturned more than 35 years of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations governing storm...more

Congress Challenges Longstanding Clean Water Act

By Krystina Steffen, staff In Good Practice writer – July 21, 2011 Rein in the Environmental Protection Agency or turn back the clock 40 years? The House of Representatives passed H.R.2018, the Clean Water Cooperative...more

Florida’s 2011 Legislative Session: Tracking Fertilizer and Agriculture

Florida’s 2011 Legislative Session is shaping up to provide agricultural interests with sweeping regulatory relief. Akerman is currently tracking legislation that includes the centralized agency review of fertilizer...more

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