Category Archives: WOTUS

Turtles All the Way Down: A Clearer Understanding of the Scope of Waters of the United States Based on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

I am excited to announce that Jesse Richardson, Gatlin Squires, and I recently had a law review article published in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. [Click here.] Our article, Turtles All the Way Down: A Clearer Understanding of the Scope of Waters of the United States Based on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions, takes a deep dive into the history surrounding the “waters of the United States” definition, charting approaches from regulations to Supreme Court cases to the recent Obama and Trump Rules.  It was… Read More →

March 18, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It has a been a wild couple of weeks around here with seven presentations since the last Weekly Round Up.  Like my schedule, it’s been a busy couple of weeks in the ag law realm as well. * Parties continue settlement discussions in Texas v. New Mexico.  As noted last week, the Special Master overseeing the litigation in Texas v. New Mexico postponed the trial date and gave the parties until March 1 to report back on settlement negotiations.  The parties have asked for additional time to continue ongoing negotiations and will… Read More →

WOTUS Update: Another year, another definition

As we have for the past five years in a row, Shannon Ferrell and I recently authored an article for Southwest Farm Press providing an update on the current status of the meaning of “waters of the United States.  To hear our thoughts on where we are now, click here.  Jim Bradbury and I discussed this exact topic on our most recent Ag Law in the Field Podcast episode, which you can find here. Also, since our article was written, the United States Supreme Court has granted a… Read More →

February 4, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday from the cold, snowy Texas Panhandle.  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *United States Supreme Court to review Sackett v. EPA.  The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in Sackett v. EPA in order to answer a very important question under the Clean Water Act:  What is the proper tests for courts to use in determining whether a wetland is considered a Water of the United States?  The US Court of Appeals for the… Read More →

2021 Ag Law Year in Review – National

Happy 2022!  As we do each year, we’ve compiled our list of some of the biggest agricultural law stories in 2021.  Today, we will take a look at this from the national level.  Next week, we will take a look at Texas-specific issues.  To hear Paul Goeringer and I discuss the biggest issues of 2021, click here to listen to our year-end episode of the Ag Law in the Field Podcast. Waters of the United States If there has been one constant over the last 5 years, it… Read More →

December 3, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy December!  There has been a lot of agricultural law news over the past few weeks, so here are some of the biggest stories impacting agriculture. *Texas Supreme Court denied petition for review in Lyle v. Midway Solar.  Earlier this year, the El Paso Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit filed by mineral owners against a solar company for building a solar farm on the property.  The court held that the accommodation doctrine would apply, but that because the mineral owner had not sought to actually develop the minerals,… Read More →

September 24, 2021 Weekly Round Up

>Hello and Happy Friday!  We’re back with an Ag Law Weekly Round Up to catch you up on some of the ag law stories over the past month. *EPA Administrator discusses dicamba, WOTUS, and ag advisor.  Recently, EPA Administrator, Michael Regan, spoke at the NASDA national meeting.  He indicated that the EPA is currently working on a new version of the “waters of the United States” definition pursuant to the Clean Water Act, and he expects for the initial proposed draft to be released in November.  He did… Read More →

Waters of the United States Update

For those of you following along with the ongoing saga surrounding the definition of “waters of the United States” pursuant to the Clean Water Act, there have been several recent rulings and happenings of which you will want to be aware. Background  The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, gave federal jurisdiction to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (COE) over “waters of the United States.”  Essentially, a person who wishes to do certain activities in a water of the United States—such as point… Read More →

July 30, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  On Tuesday, I commented to a couple of friends it had been a quite couple of weeks on the agricultural law front.  Apparently, that opened the flood gates and we’ve got a full slate of news for today’s Weekly Round Up! * United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds ruling in Montana beef checkoff case.  The Ninth Circuit has upheld the decision of the District of Montana upholding the Montana Beef Checkoff.  Specifically, the court found that because of the MOUs between the… Read More →

June 11, 2021 Weekly Round Up

If you expected it to be a quiet summer for agricultural law, you were sorely mistaken!  If the rest of the summer is anything like the first couple of weeks, we’re in for a lot of action.  Here are a few of the ag law stories recently in the news.   * Governor Abbott signs HB 365, modifying the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act.  We’ve discussed this bill previously while it was in committee, but Governor Abbot has now signed the FALA amendment passed by the legislature.  This… Read More →