Compensation Considerations When Pipeline Companies Cross Your Land

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The Texas Tribune recently published an article titled Pipeline Companies Paying More to Cross Private Land.  Due to the number of pipeline projects going on across the state right now, as well as recent jury verdicts favorable for landowners, it is important for landowners to be aware of various compensation ideas to consider if a pipeline seeks to obtain an easement across their property.   I recently published a thorough pipeline easement negotiation checklist to assist landowners in all aspects of negotiation, available here. There are several important factors to consider when determining… Read More →

August 8, 2014 Weekly Round Up

AgriLife Logo

It has been another busy week for me.  On Monday I was in Dallas speaking at the noon meeting of the Dallas Agricultural Club, the oldest agricultural club in Texas (founded in 1925) on current hot topics in agricultural law.  It was a great group who asked wonderful questions.  On Wednesday I was able to speak during the Ag Business Management Section at the Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Short Course on pipeline easement negotiations.  This is my second year speaking at Short Course and once again I found… Read More →

Missouri Voters To Consider “Right to Farm” Constitutional Amendment

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On Tuesday, Missouri voters will determine whether to amend the state’s constitution to include a constitutional right to farm.  This proposed amendment has created significant debate among agricultural producers, organizations, politicians, companies, and interest groups. Missouri’s Proposed Amendment The proposed amendment would amend the Missouri Constitution to “ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed.”  Specifically, if passed Article I of the Missouri Constitution would include the following language:  “That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security… Read More →

August 1, 2014 Weekly Round Up

sorghum jennifer

This week I made the journey to Menard, TX for the “All About Water” program where I spoke about Texas water law.  It was an absolutely group in attendance and I thoroughly enjoyed their questions and participation.  Thanks to Lisa Brown for the invitation to attend.  To those of you visiting form that program, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *New Mexico Slaughterhouse Withdraws Permit.  Valley Meats Co. has withdrawn its permit application with the New Mexico Environment Department for… Read More →

Texas RRC Proposed Rule Would Change Application Process for Pipelines Claiming Eminent Domain Power

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The Texas Railroad Commission has published a proposed rule that would change the process for classifying a pipeline as a “common carrier” or a “gas utility.”  Common carrier and gas utility status is significant as pipelines that are common carriers or gas utility have the power of eminent domain, allowing them to take private property upon which to place their pipeline.  To read a prior post on common carrier pipelines, click here. Currently, in order to achieve common carrier status, a pipeline company need only indicate that they are a common… Read More →

July 25, 2014 Weekly Round Up

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It has been a warm, humid week here in Aggieland!  Here are a few ag law stories making the news recently. * Plaintiffs’ Attorney Explains Case Against Prius Audit Firm.  An attorney representing 46 plaintiffs who were injured or killed from a 2011 listeria outbreak traced to a cantaloupe farm in Colorado wrote a very interesting blog about the suits his clients have filed against the audit firm who gave the farm a superior rating in the days just before the tainted fruit was shipped.  The attorney discusses the facts, legal… Read More →

What Are “Ag-Gag” Laws?

AQHA

Recently, so-called “ag-gag” laws (often more formally titled as agricultural protection statutes) have frequently been in the news across the country.  Progressive Cattlemen magazine asked me to write an article explaining exactly what these laws are and how they work. Although about half of U.S. states have attempted to pass “ag gag” laws, only seven have been successful.  Details of the laws vary across the seven states in which they have been adopted (North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Utah, Iowa, Missouri, and Idaho), their general purpose is to prohibit a person… Read More →

Judge Upholds Constitutionality of Indiana’s Right to Farm Law

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Last week, an Indiana trial court upheld the constitutionality of the state’s right to farm statute  Amrstrong v. Maxwell Farms of Indiana Inc. [Read opinion here.] Background The farm property at issue has been used continuously as a farm since the early 1900’s. Gary Foulke owns the property and the finishing barn sitting upon it.  Maxwell Farms began placing hogs in Foulke’s barn in June 2007.  Foulke then finished out the hogs, caring for them from the time they weigh approximately 50 pounds until they weigh approximately 260 pounds. … Read More →

July 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Supreme Court Building

This week we have an interesting mix of ag law in the news. *Augustin Plains Ranch LLC Files Another Water Use Application in New Mexico.  Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has filed another application to drill 37 wells and pipe 17 million gallons of water per year from rural western New Mexico to the Bernalillo County.  A similar proposal was rejected by the State Engineer in 2012 finding it too broad and too vague.  Numerous ranchers, landowners, environmental groups, and irrigation districts opposed the application in 2012–one of the most contested applications in New Mexico history–fearing… Read More →

Breaking News: Voters Will Have Final Say on Fracking in Denton

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Denton voters will have the final say on whether fracking will be permitted within city limits. Last night, the Denton City Council voted 5-2 to reject the petition and unanimously to place the issue on the November ballot and let voters decide whether to ban fracking within Denton.  The vote came at approximately 3:00 am after eight hours of public discussion.  More than 100 citizens spoke at the meeting and more than 500 people were in attendance.  [Read more here and here and here.] Earlier this year, nearly 2,000… Read More →