Category Archives: Federal Regulations

May 12, 2017 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to Friday yet again!  Here are some of the legal issues in the news this week. * EPA seeks input from governors on revisions to WOTUS rule.  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sent a letter this week to the 50 state governors seeking input from them on the re-write of the WOTUS rule.  He noted the value and importance of local input when writing the new rule.  [Read article here.] * Federal judge dismisses legal challenge to North Carolina lawsuit over Property Protection Act.  A federal… Read More →

DC Circuit Court: Farms Must Report Air Emissions, Exemption Unlawful

In April, a major decision came out of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the Waterkeeper Alliance v. Environmental Protection Agency case.  [Read the opinion here.]  Frankly, I’ve had to brush up on my federal environmental law in order to write this blog post, so forgive my delay in getting this up. Background Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”), both federal environmental laws passed in the 1980’s, parties must notify the… Read More →

April 21, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It has been quite a busy few weeks around here, I apologize for the lack of round up posts.  Towards the end of March, I did an online presentation for folks out in Culberson County and then made my way to two great conferences, the Four States Forage Conference in Texarkana and the Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Association Convention in San Antonio.  So far in April, I’ve been burning up the road and made trips to an extension program in Snyder and a wonderful inaugural Women in… Read More →

Round 2 in Hawkes v. Corps of Engineers Goes to Landowners

The litigation continues for the parties involved in Hawkes v. US Army Corps of Engineers.  This Clean Water Act case made its way to the United States Supreme Court last year, where the Court held that a landowner has the right to challenge an approved jurisdictional determination by the government that his or her property was a “water of the United States,” and therefore, subject to the Clean Water Act.  [Read prior blog post explaining that decision here.] After that decision, the case was sent back to the trial… Read More →

Iowa Supreme Court Issues Ruling in Des Moines Water Works Case

Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a decision in a case concerning drainage from farmland upstream that allegedly increased nitrates in the Raccoon River beyond the acceptable drinking water level, causing the water supplier to incur costs of treatment.  In answering four state law questions certified to it, the Iowa Supreme Court sided with the drainage districts.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The Board of Water Works Trustees for the City of Des Moines Iowa (aka Des Moines Water Works and “DMWW”) is a municipal waterworks that… Read More →

Clean Water Act Webinar and Report

Today, I’ve got a couple of resources for those of you interested in the Clean Water Act. First, the Congressional Research Service recently published a report titled “Evolution of the Meaning of ‘Waters of the United States’ in the Clean Water Act” that walks through the path that the term “waters of the US” has taken over the past several decades.  It is an interesting look at the history of the Act and the cases that have attempted to define the scope of federal jurisdiction in this area…. Read More →

September 30, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this last week of September. * Judge Certifies Nationwide Class of Producer Plaintiffs in Syngenta Corn Case.  I am working on a more detailed blog post about this decision and what it means for corn farmers across the US, but for now, to view a copy of the court’s order, click here. *  Federal Court of Appeals Vacates Guidance Requiring Fertilizer Companies to Comply with Hazardous Chemical Regulations.  Last year, OSHA issued a “guidance” that required fertilizer… Read More →

The UAS (“Drone”) Rules Are Here

The long-awaited Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) rules for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) are here and in effect.  The rules are codified at 14 CFR part 107. History You may recall that back in February 2015, the FAA released its proposed rules, which apply to all UAS weighing between .55 pounds and 55 pounds used for commercial purposes.  [Read prior blog post here.]  After collecting and considering public comment, the FAA issued its final rules on June 21, 2016, which became effective August 29, 2016.  Prior… Read More →

September 2, 2016 Weekly Round Up

How is it already September?  Not that I’m complaining about the cool, rainy weather we’ve been seeing this week here in the Panhandle!  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Railroad Commission Failed to Track Oilfield Waste Injections Into Groundwater Zones.  In the first of several clips involving the Texas RRC we will see today, the Texas Tribune published an article claiming that even though the RRC agreed to track injections into zones that could hold drinking water sources… Read More →

July 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

We’ve hit the halfway point for July and I hope everyone is staying cool in this heat!  It’s been a busy week for me.  On Monday, I gave an online presentation on agricultural leases to the 2016 Generation Next participants.  Thursday found me in Sherman, again talking ag leases.  On Friday, I wrapped things up in Greenville talking key laws for Texas landowner to beware of.  Welcome to those of you joining from these events! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week…. Read More →