It’s time for another quick rundown of ag law stories in the news this week. Enjoy!
* Texas Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal in Ecom USA, Inc. v. Clark. This means that the Amarillo Court of Appeals opinion in the case–remanding the case to the trial court for more factual development on the question of whether an arbitration clause in a cotton contract was enforceable–will stand. To read my analysis of the Court of Appeals’ opinion, click on this prior blog post.
* Tensions High Regarding Pipeline Project to Cross Big Bend. The Texas Tribune ran a great article this week discussing the proposed oil and gas pipeline that would ship product from the Permian Basin in West Texas to Mexico, crossing through Big Bend. The article outlines numerous issues, including eminent domain, and does a great job of telling the story. [Read article here.]
* Third Circuit Court of Appeals Sides with EPA in Lawsuit over TMDL. The EPA has won an appellate verdict in a dispute between the EPA and industry groups (including several agriculture groups) over EPA’s “total maximum daily load” that can be discharged into the Chesapeake Bay. Essentially, the court ruled that when developing multi-state TMDLs pursuant to the Clean Water Act, the EPA can do more than merely set quantities for various elements, as the plaintiffs argued. To learn more, read this blog by my friend and colleague, Paul Goeringer.
* North Carolina Court of Appeals Holds State Animal Cruelty Law Not Pre-empted by Federal Animal Welfare Act. Thanks to my colleague Ted Feitshans for sharing this news out of North Carolina. When a zoo was sued in state court for alleged animal cruelty, it sought to dismiss the case on grounds that state law on the issue was pre-empted by the federal animal welfare act. As you remember from Wednesday’s blog, federal law can pre-empt state law on the same topic if certain requirements are met. The North Carolina Court of Appeals found that pre-emption did not occur here, so the state animal cruelty law applied and the suit can go forward. [To read opinion, click here.]
* Potential Midwest Water War Brewing. Unfortunately, water wars are not only occurring in the South and West. The Chicagoist published an interesting piece this week regarding a potential dispute that could involve multiple states surrounding the Great Lakes. The facts are fairly simple. A Wisconsin city falls under an exception to the Great Lakes Compact that would arguably allow it to pump water from Lake Michigan if approval is obtained. The city has sought such approval to pump water because its own water supply is contaminated. Wisconsin has issued a preliminary decision indicating it will approval the request. After that, things get complicated. [Read article here.]
* 11 Worst Money Mistakes to Make in Your 30s. Being in my 30’s myself, the title of this article drew me in. The solid advice included therein convinced me to share with you all. From savings to retirement to insurance to weddings to babies, this article covers a great deal of important issues! [Read article here.] The one item I would add is the importance of having an estate plan that includes at least the basic documents of a will, power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney.