August 5, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and Happy August!  We’re back with another Ag Law Weekly Round Up.

Earlier this week, I was able to travel to California with my kids and my aunt to accept the Distinguished Extension Program Award (less than 10 years) from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.  I am so honored to have received this award, and my children were quite excited to swim in the Pacific Ocean and visit Disneyland.

With that, here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.

*US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decides case involving citizen suits and the Clean Water Act.  Our friends at the National Ag Law Center recently highlighted an important case from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Naturaland Trust v. Dakota Finance, LLC.  This case addresses what affect a state agency’s notice of alleged Clean Water Act violation has on the ability of a non-profit to bring a citizen suit against the farm for the Clean Water Act violation.  [Read article here.]

*Massachusetts federal court dismisses case applying County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund “functional equivalent” test.  You may recall from this prior blog post that the US Supreme Court adopted a “functional equivalent to a direct discharge” test to determine whether the Clean Water Act applies when a pollutant is discharged into groundwater, but then makes its way to a jurisdictional water under the Act.  Recently, a Massachusetts federal court dismissed a case where a wastewater treatment plant was disposing of pollutants into the groundwater, which then migrated to a navigable water 1.5 miles away after 21 years.  The court found the distance and time to be too great to consider this a “functional equivalent to a direct discharge.”  [Read article here.]

*Beginning Farmers & Taxes.  Chris Clayton wrote a good article offering tips to a beginning farmer related to federal taxes.  Frankly, it has some good reminders for those of us no longer considered “beginning” farmers and ranchers as well.  [Read Chris’ article here.]

*Avoid these estate planning mistakes.  The Waxahachie Sun recently published a column looking at common estate planning mistakes.  It’s a quick read, but offers some really important considerations for everyone to think through from an estate planning perspective.  [Read article here.]

Upcoming Presentations

On August 18, I will be part of a FREE webinar hosted by the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management titled “Should I Sell Carbon Credits? A Decision Guide for Ranchers.”  For more info or to register, click here.

In September, we will be hosting our final Ranchers Leasing Workshop and Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know programs for the year.  The Owning Your Piece of Texas program will be on September 12 in Fredericksburg.  Click here for registration.  The Ranchers Leasing Workshop will be on September 13 in Kerrville.  Click here for registration.

To see a full list of all my upcoming programs, click here.

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