Category Archives: Clean Water Act

March 8, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Hello and happy Friday!  We’re back with another weekly round up of the top agricultural law stories of the past two weeks. * North Carolina nuisance ruling appealed. Plaintiffs in the first North Carolina hog farm nuisance lawsuit have filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  A number of agricultural groups, including the American and North Carolina Farm Bureau have filed an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs arguing that the North Carolina Right to Farm law should have applied as… Read More →

February 22, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday and happy FFA week!  I, like many of you, credit FFA for so much of my success in my life and career.  I hope you take a moment to think back on what FFA has given  you and think about ways you might be able to give back to the organization. I also want to say a special welcome to those of you who are joining us after attending the Central Texas Farm Credit diner in Haskell this week.  It was an honor to speak with… Read More →

January 25, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Hello there!  I’m not sure how it happened, but the month of January got away from me and I apologize for the lack of Weekly Round Up Posts.  Several readers have contacted me to ask if I would be continuing these and the answer is yes, but they will likely be bi-weekly.  Thank you for your kind comments about how you enjoy these posts. So far, January has been a fun month with several speaking events.  I kicked things off lecturing at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch… Read More →

2018 Ag Law Year in Review

Well, it’s been quite a year for agricultural law!  Looking back, it has been interesting to see the variety of legal issues that have come up in the last 365 days.  From a major class action settlement by Syngenta to new electronic logging device rules to nuisance litigation in North Carolina, there are numerous issues of which agricultural producers should be aware. If you want to hear more about these topics, Paul Goeringer and I did a Year in Review joint podcast.  You can listen here.  {Since we… Read More →

Clean Water Act Application to Groundwater: Keeping Score

**UPDATE:  In February 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui case.** A major issue with regard to the scope of the Clean Water Act is popping up in courtrooms across the United States.  Are point source discharges into groundwater, that eventually reach a “water of the United States”, within the scope of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction?  This issue is growing and has been decided differently by courts across the country.  The legal question is teed up and could… Read More →

August 31, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to the end of August!  I’m not sure how the summer has already flown by, but here we are.  This week I was in Stephenville in Tuesday for an agricultural leasing and law program.  We had a great turnout, so welcome to those of you joining from that event. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Appellate court reverses trial court decision in Lost Pines GCD date.  Earlier this year, a Bastrop County judge held that the Lost Pines GCD… Read More →

Does the Clean Water Act Apply to Groundwater?

If a person discharges a pollutant from a point source into groundwater, and that pollutant then reaches a “Water of the United States” as defined under the Clean Water Act, is a discharge permit required?  Two recent court cases have reached different results on this issue and now the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on this question. Background The Clean Water Act Section 402 requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the discharge of “pollutants” from “point sources” into “navigable waters.”  Each of… Read More →

September 15, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It has been a bit of a crazy week around here and I apologize to anyone who has called or emailed and not gotten a quick response from me.  On Monday, my two year old landed in the hospital after fighting a nasty stomach virus for two weeks.  He is home and doing much better now, but as you can imagine, work got put on the back burner.  I am back in the saddle now and here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Number… Read More →

Duarte v. Corps of Engineers: California Wheat Farmer Settles Clean Water Act Lawsuit

This week, it was announced that the parties have reached a settlement agreement in the Duarte Nursery v. Army Corps of Engineers.  This case has been a high-profile concern for landowners and agricultural producers across the United States. Background In 2012, Duarte Nursery purchased 450 acres land in Tehama County, California with the intent to farm the land, initially by sowing winter wheat.  The property, north of Sacramento, consists of rolling grassland.  Prior to 1988, the land had been farmed, but from 1988 until the Duarte purchased in 2012, the land… 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 →