EPA’s Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States” Causes Controversy

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* In addition to my usual disclaimer, please not that I am not an expert on the Clean Water Act or the EPA’s regulations implementing the Act.  This blog is intended merely to highlight the current issue and provide basic information. The Environmental Protection Agency recently drafted a proposed rule defining “waters of the United States” with regard to its interpretation of the Clean Water Act.  This proposed amendment has caused a great deal of controversy. The Clean Water… Read More →

Important Victory for Texas Landowners in Eminent Domain Case

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* A recent jury verdict in Johnson County, Texas illustrates an important point for landowners to understand when it comes to determining compensation for easements taken by eminent domain. Background In this case, the landowners owned a 400-plus acre parcel of land within the city limits of Mansfield, Texas, which is about 20 minutes outside of Ft. Worth.  Some of the land is commercially zoned and abuts Highway 287, making it prime property for commercial developers.  Peregrine Pipeline Co. (“company”) sought… Read More →

April 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I attended the 2014 Texas Water Conference in Dallas.  Amber Miller, an attorney from Lubbock, and I spoke to a large group of folks on an important Texas water issue:  Where do water wells drilled for use in the fracking process fit under the Texas exempt well statute.  I’ll have a blog post up explaining this issue and why it is important for Texans in the near future.  For those of you joining the… Read More →

Texas Water Report

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Earlier this year, the Texas Comptroller’s Office put out the Texas Water Report.  This document provides a great overview of a variety of water issues currently going on in Texas.  It covers everything from current court cases to international treaty disputes to water ownership in Texas to the impacts of drought and the oil boom on water supplies.  If you are interested in Texas water issues, I would highly recommend reading over this report, which can… Read More →

April 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* I hope everyone had a fantastic week and has fun plans for the weekend!  This week I traveled out to Brownwood, Texas on Tuesday to give a presentation on agricultural leases, eminent domain, and pipeline easements.  A big thank you to Brown County Extension Agent Scott Anderson for putting this program together.  I enjoyed the chance to visit with several local landowners during and after the program, so welcome to those of you joining us from Brown… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Where Can We Hear You Speak?

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Question:  We have read your blog and are wondering if you will be speaking in our area sometime soon.  Where can we hear you speak? Answer:  My absolute favorite part of working for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension is getting to go out and about around the state speaking at various programs!  Generally, I am asked to come to speak at a program by the County Extension Agent, who sets up the program and advertises it through various methods including… Read More →

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listed as “Threatened” Under Endangered Species Act

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* (Sorry for the interruption in our Eminent Domain in Texas series, but this was important news that we needed to cover.  We will return to our Eminent Domain in Texas series with the final post next week.) Last week, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would list the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened” pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act.  This listing–a step below a listing of endangered–will afford protection to the… Read More →

April 4, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* This week I have been making the rounds from Indianapolis, Indiana to Athens, Texas!  In Indianapolis, Paul Goeringer (University of Maryland Extension) and I presented at the Women in Agriculture Educators Conference on legal risk management, where I specifically focused on water law education in Texas.  Additionally, I presented at the Cattleman’s Cow-Calf Clinic in Athens, Texas.  Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch and his cattle committee did a great job of planning this clinic and I enjoyed the chance to… Read More →

Eminent Domain in Texas (Part 3) – Oil and Gas Pipelines

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* Today we continue on with Part 3 in the Eminent Domain Texas series.  Click here if you missed Part 1 or Part 2. Due to the increase in Texas oil production over the past few years, the number of pipelines necessary to transport product has greatly increased and resulted in oil and gas pipeline companies seeking easements from landowners.  As of November 2012, there are 366,274 miles of pipelines crisscrossing the state of Texas.   As oil production continues to… Read More →

March 28, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* I have been traveling a lot of miles lately speaking at various extension programs across Texas.  Last week I was in West Texas where I spoke at three great presentations in Rankin, Big Lake, and Van Horn.  This week I’ve been in Bell County and in Canton speaking at cattlemen’s conferences.  Welcome to the new readers from these presentations!  Here are a few ag law stories making the news over the last couple of weeks. *Texas… Read More →