Category Archives: WOTUS

March 2, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Phew!  It has been a heck of a week!  On Monday, I was in Cat Spring for our Ranchers Leasing Workshop.  We had a great turnout of 95 folks!  On Tuesday, I was in Waco speaking to the Master Marketer course.  Wednesday brought me back to the Panhandle to speak at the 4th Annual Biennial Water Conservation Symposium.  Welcome to all of you joining from these events. *”FARM” Act introduced in US Senate would exempt agriculture from air emissions reporting.  The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, a… Read More →

February 16, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Hello from Weatherford, Texas!  Last night, I spoke at an Extension meeting in Denton County and today I’ll be speaking at the Country Land Stewardship Conference here in Weatherford.  Welcome to those of you joining us from these events. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Budget bill allows seed cotton to be a covered commodity under Farm Bill.   On February 9, Congress passed a budget that made seed cotton a covered commodity for the 2018 crop year under the current Farm Bill’s… Read More →

February 9, 2018 Weekly Round Up

This week I enjoyed speaking on water law at the High Plains Irrigation Conference in Amarillo. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news. *Lawsuit filed against EPA’s 2-year delay of WOTUS rule.  Ten states have filed suit against the EPA challenging the agency’s 2-year delay of the 2015 WOTUS rule.  They allege that the delay was imposed without consideration of the “environmental and public health consequences of doing so” and that by reverting to the pre-2015 approach, the agency has undertaken a “redefinition” for… Read More →

February 2, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to February and Happy Groundhog Day!  This week I had some much-needed time in the office and was able to give an online guest lecture to the Ag Leadership class at Mississippi State University, taught by my friend, Dr. Laura Greenhaw.  Welcome to any new followers from her class! Here are some of the major ag law stories in the news this week. * EPA sets the effective date for 2015 WOTUS rule for 2020.  You may remember this prior post where we discussed the US Supreme… Read More →

January 26, 2018 Weekly Round Up

I tell you what, it’s been a whirlwind of a week both for my travel schedule and for ag law news!  On Monday I spoke in Pampa at a program hosted by County Extension Agents Mike Jeffcoat, Michael Wilkes, and Jody Bradford.  Then on Tuesday, I headed to Lubbock for the Seeking Solutions Regional Extension meeting.  Wednesday found me back on the road to Lubbock to speak at the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Water College. Today, I’ll be doing an online presentation for a graduate student group… Read More →

November 24, 2017 Weekly Round Up

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week that might be good fodder for discussions with the visiting relatives (or not.) *EPA proposes 2-year delay of 2015 WOTUS rule.  The EPA and Corps of Engineers have proposed a rule that would delay implementation of the 2015 WOTUS rule for two years.  Currently, the 2015 rule is stayed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the EPA is currently working through the required process… Read More →

September 1, 2017 Ag Law Weekly Round Up

It has been quite a week here in Texas.  To those of you suffering the devastating floods, our thoughts and prayers are with you. To those of you joining us this week who attended the Ranchers Leasing Workshops in Lubbock and College Station, welcome to the blog!  Also, happy to have new followers from the estate planning program I recently spoke at in Longview. Here are some of the ag law stories making news this week. *WOTUS Rule repeal comment period extended through September 27, 2017.  The Environmental… 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 →

WOTUS: Where Are We Now?

For years now, agriculture has been closely following the drama surrounding the definition of “Waters of the United States,” commonly referred to as WOTUS.  With a new administration in place, changes have recently occurred in Washington, DC on this issue. 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 source… Read More →

August 4, 2017 Weekly Round Up

And just like that, it’s August!  Where has the summer gone? Here are some of the ag law stories making news this week. * Water war brewing in West Texas.  A rural West Texas landowner wants to drill wells, build a pipeline, and sell water to oil and gas companies some 60 miles away in the Permian Basin.  This is the situation in Van Horn, where a large landowner has sought a permit from the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District to drill 7 wells on his 140,000 acre… Read More →