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 judge in North Carolina has dismissed a lawsuit brought by various animal rights groups against the state and the University of North Carolina, claiming that the Property Protection Act (referred to as an “ag gag” statute by opponents) was unconstitutional.  The judge did not reach the merits of the case, dismissing it after finding the animal rights groups lacked standing to bring the claims.  As the judge explained, the groups offered no proof of an injury to them as there had been no lawsuit or threat of lawsuit against the groups for investigations.  The plaintiff groups say they are leaning towards appealing the decision.  [Read article here.]

* Succession planning tools for younger generations.  Ryan Goodman recently wrote a great article for Successful Farming magazine discussing succession planning–meaning a plan to pass the family farm business from one generation to the next.   While there are a lot of articles on this topic aimed at the older generation, Goodman offers important tips for the younger generation on getting the succession planning discussion rolling.  [Read article here.]

* Dairy Herd Management publishes article on farmer in the center of the Duarte Nursery v. EPA lawsuit.  You likely recall from this prior blog the Duarte Nursery lawsuit ongoing in California.  The Corps of Engineers took enforcement action against a landowner claiming that by plowing his field to sow wheat, he violated the Clean Water Act.  DHM published an in-depth look at the landowner and his story.  [Read article here.]

* American Bar Association Teleconference on exempt wells.  On Tuesday (May 16) at noon EST, Jesse Richardson and I will be giving a teleconference for the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources discussing exempt wells.  The official title is, “Exempt Wells:  Where Water Law and Land Use Law Collide” and we will be discussing both domestic and livestock wells.  If you know Jesse, there is no one who is a bigger fan of the exempt well topic than he is, so this promises to be entertaining.  The cost is free for Section members or $20 for non-members.  [For more info, click here.]


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