December 20, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.**

Here are some of the ag law-related stories making the news this week.

*  Dallas Passes Strict Fracking Limitation.  The City of Dallas voted last week to impose one of the strictest fracking ordinances in the country, requiring oil wells to be 1500 feet away from “protected areas” including homes, schools, and churches.  This ordinance greatly increases the set back distance, which currently is 300 feet.  [Read article here.]

New York Times Article Focuses on Rio Grande Battles.  An interesting article in the New York Times last week discusses the various battles for water occurring along the Rio Grande.  [Read article here.]

*  Database allows comparison of water quality regulations in oil and gas producing states.  The University of Colorado recently unveiled a new database to allow people to view water quality regulations in place in oil producing states including Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.  [View database here.]  The purpose of the database is to allow people to learn about the regulations in their state and to easily compare to regulations in other states.  [Read article here.]

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*  Don’t Take Your Email Password To the Grave.  Professor Gerry Beyer at Texas Tech posted an interesting blog this week about a common problem facing heirs after a loved one dies:  how do they obtain access to email accounts without passwords?  In the event that your heirs need access to your email account, it is a good idea to leave your password behind, either by sharing it with someone or leaving it written down with your estate documents to save your heirs the hassle (and potential legal action) to obtain the password. [Read blog here.]

* New Mexico Horse Slaughter Plant Set to Open January 1, but Attorney General to File Suit.  After the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an emergency injunction paving the way for horse slaughter to commence in the United States, Roswell-based Valley Meat Co. has announced it intends to begin operations January 1.  [Read article here.]  The story does not end there, though.  On Thursday, the New Mexico Attorney General announced that he will file suit against Valley Meat Co. in state court for violation of state water and environmental laws.  [Read article here.]  The New Mexico Attorney General, Gary King, has been publicly opposed to horse slaughter and his office joined the plaintiffs in the appeal to the Tenth Circuit.

*  Braun Gresham Schedules 2014 Webinars.  The Braun Gresham law firm, based in Austin, has announced a series of free webinars that will take place in 2014 with topics including what landowners need to know about estate planning, what property purchasers should know about old easements, risk management, and transmission lines.  [Read full listing here.]

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