Friday, January 24, 2020

Agricultural Law Weekly Review - January 24, 2020

Written by:  
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney
Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Weekly Review provides an update of recent agricultural law developments from the local, state, national, and international levels.  Subscribe to the ALWR at pennstateaglaw.com

International Trade: USMCA Receives Congressional Approval, Awaits President’s Signature
On January 16, 2020, the U.S. Congress completed the statutory approval process for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  It now awaits the formal application of the President’s signature, which has yet to be scheduled.  Pursuant to the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, 19 U.S.C. 4201 et seq., (generally referred to as “Trade Promotion Authority” or “TPA”), Congress granted approval through passage of HR 5430, titled the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act.  HR 5430 was introduced on December 13, 2019, passed the U.S. House by a 385-41 vote on December 19, 2019 and passed the U.S. Senate by a 89-10 vote on January 16, 2020.  USMCA has already been fully ratified by the Mexican government but still must be approved by the Canadian Parliament before implementation.  The congressional approval process was triggered by the December 10, 2019, announcement by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that the United States, Mexico, and Canada had reached a final agreement on amendments and implementation details of the previously-negotiated USMCA dated November 30, 2018.  The completed USMCA terminates and replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  The final USMCA text is available on the USTR website, along with various fact sheets providing details.  One fact sheet is titled “Agriculture: Market Access and Dairy Outcomes of the USMC Agreement” and another addresses the USMCA’s impact on Pennsylvania

Farm Bill: Fourteen States, New York City, and District of Columbia Sue USDA Over SNAP Benefit Rule Changes 
On January 16, 2020,  Fourteen (14) states, the City of New York, and the District of Columbia, sued USDA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Case 1:20-cv-00119, alleging that the December 4, 2019, Final Rule changing the conditions under which states may request and obtain a waiver of the maximum eligibility time for certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 701-706.  The plaintiffs are requesting that the rule be stayed, enjoined from becoming effective, vacated, and set aside.  In addition to California and New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia have joined in the suit, each state alleging individualized economic harm.  Pennsylvania alleges that the Final Rule will cost it more than $2.2 million annually in increased administrative costs and will increase job-training programming costs more than $21 million over the next six years.  For more on USDA’s Final Rule changing SNAP benefit rules, see the Agricultural Law Weekly Review of December 12, 2019, titled Farm Bill: USDA Changes SNAP Benefit.

Dairy Policy: Cornell University Conducting Dairy Farmer Pricing Survey 
On January 14, 2020, Cornell University’s School of Applied Economics & Management researchers Dr. Todd M. Schmit and Roberta M. Severson commenced a confidential on-line Dairy Farmer Pricing Survey, in which a dairy producer may participate until February 15, 2020. The survey is located at https://tinyurl.com/DairyPriceSurvey.  According to the researchers, the survey is “developed to better understand farmers’ willingness to accept alternative premium programs, related milk premium adjustments, and milk handler business structures.”  The survey is intended to gather nationwide information regardless of the geographic location because the “focus is on price adjustments made by the handler after the required minimum price is determined by the relevant milk marketing order.”  Data collected “will be used to determine preferred premium structures under a range of market conditions . . . as valuable guidance to dairy farmers and milk handlers when considering alternative pricing structures beyond the milk marketing order and the expected results therefrom.”  The survey is limited to current dairy farmers and should be completed by the primary owner/operator in charge of the milk production portion of the farm business. Only one survey should be completed per farm. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. 

Food Policy: USDA Announces School Lunch & Summer Meals Reforms
On January 17, 2020, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced the issuance of a proposed rule amending regulations governing the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).   The proposed rule proposes various and multiple changes to simplify meal pattern and monitoring requirements. According to the proposed rule, “implementation of the wide range of proposed changes and flexibilities is expected to simplify operational requirements, increase efficiency, and make it easier for State and local Program operators to feed children.” The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2020, and publication will commence a sixty (60) day comment period. 

Industrial Hemp: Ohio’s Hemp Cultivation Regulations Approved by State Regulation Review Agency
On January 16, 2020, the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s hemp cultivation licensing regulations, Ohio Administrative Code 901:14-1-01 through 901:14-2-99, were approved by Ohio’s Joint Committee On Agency Rule Review (JCARR), the state government entity charged with determining if proposed agency regulations exceed the statutory authority granted by the Ohio General Assembly.  The regulations are scheduled to become effective January 31, 2020.  This action follows USDA’s December 27, 2019, approval of the Ohio Department of Agriculture State Hemp Production Plan, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill.  Ohio was one of the first three state hemp production plans approved by USDA.


From National Ag Law Authorities & Sources: 

Penn State Research & News:


AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Press Releases:

No new releases Jan. 15-21, 2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture Press Releases:

STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE
Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Department of Agriculture
50 Pa.B. 331 “Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee Meeting [January 23, 2020]” Notice (January 18, 2020). 

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
50 Pa.B. 332 “Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council Meeting [January 22, 2020]” Notice (January 18, 2020).

State Conservation Commission
50 Pa.B. 436 “Access to Odor Management Plans for Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Volunteers Complying with the Commonwealth's Facility Odor Management Program” Notice (January 18, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 437 “Action on Odor Management Plans for Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Volunteers Complying with the Commonwealth's Facility Odor Management Program” Notice (January 18, 2020).

Susquehanna River Basin Commission
50 Pa.B. 464 “Grandfathering Registration Notice” Notice (January 18, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 465 “Public Hearing [February 6, 2020]” Notice (January 18, 2020).

Pennsylvania Legislature

H.B. 1187 “An Act amending Title 30 (Fish) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in special licenses and permits, further providing for Lake Erie fishing permits” Third consideration and final passage [House] (January 15, 2020). 
H.B. 1003 “An Act amending Title 30 (Fish) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in dams, bar racks and migration devices, further providing for marking of dams” Third consideration and final passage [House] (January 15, 2020). 
H.B. 918 “An Act repealing the act of May 20, 1857 (P.L.617, No.658), entitled ‘An act making an Appropriation from the State Treasury, in aid of the Farmers’ High School’” Third consideration and final passage [House] (January 14, 2020). 
H.B. 523 “An Act amending the act of June 13, 1836 (P.L.551, No.169), referred to as the General Road Law, further providing for repair of private roads” Third consideration and final passage [House) (January 14, 2020). 
S.B. 986 “An Act amending the act of December 22, 1983 (P.L.303, No.83), referred to as the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law, in methodology, further providing for methods of destruction of animals and exclusive method for small domestic animals” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [Senate] (January 17, 2020). 
S.B. 989 “An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in hunting and furtaking, providing for taking of bobcats prohibited” Re-referred to Game and Fisheries [Senate] (January 15, 2020). 
H.B. 2221 “An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in hunting and furtaking, further providing for unlawful devices and methods; and, in hunting and furtaking licenses, further providing for denial or revocation of licenses and for period of revocation” Referred to Game and Fisheries [House] (January 15, 2020). 
H.B. 2218 “An Act amending the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the Liquor Code, in Pennsylvania liquor stores, further providing for sales by Pennsylvania liquor stores; and, in licenses and regulations and liquor, alcohol and malt and brewed beverages, further providing for wine expanded permits” Referred to Liquor Control [House] (January 15, 2020). 
H.B. 2213 “An Act amending Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in land banks, further providing for acquisition of property” Referred to Urban Affairs [House] (January 14, 2020). 
H. Res. 654 “A Resolution recognizing February 25, 2020, as "World Spay Day" in Pennsylvania” Reported as committed [House] (January 14, 2020).
H. Res. 653 “A Resolution designating the week of March 16 through 22, 2020, as ‘Maple Producers Week’ in Pennsylvania” Reported as committed [House] (January 14, 2020).
H. Res. 64 “A Resolution establishing a legislative task force on the delivery of high-speed broadband services and directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study on the delivery of high-speed broadband services in unserved areas and underserved areas of this Commonwealth and to report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives” Removed from table [House] (January 14, 2020).

FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE
Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Agriculture Department
85 FR 2897 “Equal Opportunity for Religious Organizations in U.S. Department of Agriculture Programs: Implementation of Executive Order 13831” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (January 17, 2020). 

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
85 FR 2621 “User Fees for Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Services” Rule (January 16, 2020). 

Commodity Credit Corporation
85 FR 2699 “Request for Information on a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program” Notice—Comment Period (January 16, 2020).

Environmental Protection Agency
85 FR 2654 “Fenhexamid; Pesticide Tolerances” Rule—Comment Period (January 16, 2020).
85 FR 3371 “Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses (November 2019)” Notice—Comment Period (January 21, 2020). 
85 FR 3306 “Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine Standards” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (January 21, 2020). 

Federal Communications Commission
85 FR 3044 “Wireline Competition Bureau Provides Guidance on the Implementation Schedule for Reforms Adopted by the Rural Health Care Program Promoting Telehealth Report and Order” Notice (January 17, 2020). 

Federal Emergency Management Agency
85 FR 3397 “Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations [Utah]” Notice—Comment Period (January 21, 2020). 
85 FR 3398 “Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations [Virginia]” Notice—Comment Period (January 21, 2020). 
85 FR 3405 “Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations [Missouri]” Notice—Comment Period (January 21, 2020). 
85 FR 3400 “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations[Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas]” Notice (January 21, 2020). 
85 FR 3402 “Final Flood Hazard Determinations [Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon]” Notice  (January 21, 2020). 

Food and Nutrition Service
85 FR 3335 “Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk” Notice—Comment Period (January 21, 2020). 

Forest Service 
85 FR 2384 “Boundary Establishment for Rio Chama National Wild and Scenic River, Santa Fe National Forest, Carson National Forest, and Bureau of Land Management Taos Field Office, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico” Notice (January 15, 2020).
85 FR 2383 “Boundary Establishment for Sipsey Fork of the West Fork National Wild and Scenic River, Bankhead National Forest, Lawrence and Winston Counties, Alabama” Notice (January 15, 2020).
85 FR 2384 “Allegheny Resource Advisory Committee [Meetings: February 21, February 28 and March 26, 2020]” Notice (January 15, 2020).
85 FR 2383 “Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board [Meeting]” Notice (January 15, 2020).

Homeland Security Department
85 FR 3067 “Identification of Foreign Countries Whose Nationals Are Eligible To Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Nonimmigrant Worker Programs” Notice (January 17, 2020). 

Labor Department 
85 FR 3078 “Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Efforts To Improve Outcomes” Notice—Comment Period (January 17, 2020). 

Land Management Bureau
85 FR 3410 “Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Revision of Grazing Regulations for Public Lands” Notice (January 21, 2020). 

National Park Service
85 FR 2437 “National Park System Advisory Board; Charter Renewal” Notice (January 15, 2020). 

Small Business Administration
85 FR 3101 “Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the State of South Dakota” Notice (January 17, 2020). 

Wage and Hour Division
85 FR 2760 “Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Information Collections: Disclosures to Workers Under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act” Notice (January 16, 2020).
85 FR 2820 “Joint Employer Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act” Rule (January 16, 2020). 

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Actions: 

H.R.5627 “MATCH Act of 2020 [To amend the Agricultural Credit Act of 1978 with respect to pre-agreement costs of emergency watershed protection measures, and for other purposes]” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (January 16, 2020). 
H.R.5430 “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act” Message on Senate action sent to the House (January 16, 2020). 
H.R.5601 “Property Rights Protection Act of 2020” Referred to Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources (January 14, 2020). 
H.R.4723 “Fish Act of 2019” Subcommittee Hearings Held (January 14, 2020). 

U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry Committee Actions: 

S.3221 “A bill to place a moratorium on large concentrated animal feeding operations, to strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, to require country of origin labeling on beef, pork, and dairy products, and for other purposes” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (January 21, 2020). 
S.3106 “Reforestation Act of 2019” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (January 19, 2020). 
S.3141 “Food Donation Improvement Act of 2019” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (January 19, 2020). 
S.3214 “MATCH Act of 2020” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (January 16, 2020). 

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Agricultural Law Weekly Review —January 16, 2020


Written by: 
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney
Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Weekly Review provides an update of recent agricultural law developments from the local, state, national, and international levels.  Subscribe to the ALWR at pennstateaglaw.com

International Trade:  United States and China Sign Agreement Impacting Agricultural Exports To China
On January 15, 2020, The United States and the People’s Republic of China executed an agreement titled, “Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China,” which serves as a settlement agreement of certain enforcement actions initiated by the White House under authority of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.  According to the February 27, 2019 testimony of United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer before the House and Ways Committee, such an agreement does not require Congressional approval as would other trade agreements. The USTR website contains the ninety-six page agreement text as well as Fact Sheets devoted to various topics addressed in the agreement, including an eight-page Fact Sheet titled, “Agriculture and Seafood Related Provisions” and unique individualized Fact Sheets on the following topics: Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Feed, Seafood, Dairy and Infant Formula, Horticultural Products, Meat, Poultry and Live Breeding Cattle, Pet Food and Rice.   

Environmental Policy:  White House Proposes Landmark National Environmental Policy Act Regulation Amendments 
On Jan. 9, 2020, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking updating its 1978 regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of 1969’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  85 FR 1684.  Among other things, NEPA requirements are invoked when airports, buildings, military complexes, highways, parkland purchases, and other federal activities are proposed.  Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), which are assessments of the likelihood of impacts from alternative courses of action, are required from involved federal agencies, are the most visible NEPA requirements.  CEQ states that the average length of an EIS is 600 pages and the average time for federal agencies to conduct NEPA reviews is four and one-half years.  CEQ maintains a comprehensive website devoted to NEPA which includes a detailed factsheet outlining the extensive proposed changes.  Public comments on the proposed new rule must be submitted by March 10, 2020. Public hearings on the proposed rulemaking will be held on February 11, 2020, in Denver, Colorado, and on February 25, 2020, in Washington, D.C.  

Water Quality: Maryland Governor Directs Maryland Attorney General to Sue Pennsylvania and EPA over Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction
On January 8, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a press release and delivered a letter to Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh specifically directing him “to take two legal actions: (1) commence litigation against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for repeatedly falling short of necessary pollution reduction goals; and (2) commence litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to enforce the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).”  To date, there has been no public response from Attorney General Frosh.  The Maryland Attorney General is an independent elected official who does not directly report to the Governor of Maryland but does provide legal counsel to the Office of the Governor and the agencies of the Executive Branch.  Both Governor Hogan and Attorney General Frosh were re-elected to second four-year terms in 2018, however Governor Hogan is a Republican and Attorney General Frosh is a Democrat.   

Biotechnology: USDA, FDA, and EPA Launch Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation
On January 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced the launch of the Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation.  It houses in one place all federal laws and regulations, as well as agency guidance and FAQs, from the three principal federal agencies charged with regulating agricultural biotechnology products under the 1986 U.S. Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and its 1994, 2017 and 2018 amendments.  While the website is not for “regulatory submissions by product developers,” it is intended to  serve as an informational hub, allow users to submit questions about agricultural biotechnology, and to educate consumers about the safe use of biotechnology innovations.

Packers and Stockyards Act: USDA Proposes Long-Delayed Change to Packers and Stockyards Act Regulations
On January 13, 2020, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the proposal of a new rule establishing criteria for USDA’s determination of whether a packer, swine contractor or live poultry dealer violated Section 202(b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) by giving an “undue” or “unreasonable” preference or advantage to a particular person or locality. 85 FR 1771.  This P&S Act regulation amendment is required by the 2008 Farm Bill but 2010 and 2016 proposed rules were never finalized, initially due to legislative prohibition and subsequently due to lack of action.  Under the new proposed rule, USDA would consider whether preferences or advantages are based on cost, meeting competitors’ prices or other terms, or normal industry standards.  Public comments on the proposed new rule must be submitted by March 13, 2020. 
   
From National Ag Law Authorities & Sources: 
Tara Ritter, Shaping the Future of Energy in Murray County (January 13, 2020). 

Penn State Research & News:
Kristen Devlin, Innovation is widespread in rural areas, not just cities (January 2, 2020). 

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Press Releases:

Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Department of Agriculture
50 Pa.B. 204 “Temporary Order Designating Dangerous Transmissible Diseases” Notice (January 11, 2020). 

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
50 Pa.B. 207 “Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants Available” Notice (January 11, 2020). 

Pennsylvania Legislature
H.B. 523 “An Act amending the act of June 13, 1836 (P.L.551, No.169), referred to as the General Road Law, further providing for repair of private roads” Re-committed to Appropriations [House] (January 13, 2020). 
H.B. 918 “An Act repealing the act of May 20, 1857 (P.L.617, No.658), entitled ‘An act making an Appropriation from the State Treasury, in aid of the Farmers' High School’” Re-committed to Appropriations [House] (January 13, 2020). 
H.B. 1003 “An Act amending Title 30 (Fish) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in dams, bar racks and migration devices, further providing for marking of dams” Removed from table [House] (January 13, 2020). 
H.B. 1187 “An Act amending Title 30 (Fish) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in special licenses and permits, further providing for Lake Erie fishing permits” Removed from table [House] (January 13, 2020). 
H.B. 2198 “A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in restrictions on legislative power relating to legislation, providing for interstate compacts” Referred to State Government [House] (January 10, 2020). 
H.B. 2193 “An Act amending the act of December 22, 1983 (P.L.327, No.85), known as the Auctioneer Licensing and Trading Assistant Registration Act, providing for horses sold at auction” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [House] (January 10, 2020). 
H. Res. 654 “A Resolution recognizing February 25, 2020, as "World Spay Day" in Pennsylvania” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [House] (Jan. 10, 2020). 
H. Res. 653 “A Resolution designating the week of March 16 through 22, 2020, as "Maple Producers Week" in Pennsylvania” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [House] (Jan. 10, 2020).

Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Agriculture Department
85 FR 1137 “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Tart Cherries Grown in the States of MI, NY, PA. OR, UT, WA, and WI]” Notice (January 9, 2020). 

Agricultural Marketing Service 
85 FR 1771 “Undue and Unreasonable Preferences and Advantages Under the Packers and Stockyards Act” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (January 13, 2020). 
85 FR 2104 “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [2019 Market Facilitation Program Application]” Notice (January 14, 2020). 
85 FR 2104 “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Tuberculosis, Animal Health Protection Act]” Notice (January 14, 2020). 

Commodity Credit Corporation
85 FR 1731 “Market Access Program” Rule (January 13, 2020). 

Federal Emergency Management Agency
85 FR 1172 “Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations” Notice—Comment Period (January 9, 2020). 
85 FR 1173 “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations” Notice (January 9, 2020). 

Fish and Wildlife Service
85 FR 2143 “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Review of Grizzly Bear” Notice (January 14, 2020). 

International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico
85 FR 1182 “United States Section; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Continued Implementation of the River Management Plan for the Rio Grande Canalization Project” Notice (January 9, 2020). 

Small Business Administration
85 FR 1783 “SBA Supervised Lenders Application Process” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (January 13, 2020)


Susquehanna River Basin Commission
85 FR 1189 “Public Hearing [February 6, 2020]” Notice (January 9, 2020). 
85 FR 1190 “Grandfathering (GF) Registration Notice [December 1-21, 2019]” Notice (January 9, 2020).

U.S. Codex Office
85 FR 1137 “Codex Committee Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives” Notice (January 9, 2020). 

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Actions: 
S.1982 “Save Our Seas 2.0 Act” Passed Senate—Referred to Committees on Agriculture; Natural Resources; Foreign Affairs; Energy and Commerce; Science, Space, and Technology; and Transportation and Infrastructure (January 13, 2020). 
H.R.5435 “American Public Lands and Waters Climate Solution Act of 2019” Referred to Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry (January 13, 2020).
H.R.5436 “To amend the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, with respect to enforcement of animal fighting ventures prohibition in the territories, and for other purposes” Referred to Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture (January 13, 2020).
H.R.5474 “Shawnee Wilderness Designation Act” Referred to Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry (January 13, 2020).
H.R.5484 “COLA's Don't Count Act of 2019” Referred to Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Corrections (January 13, 2020).
H.R.5506 “Hawaii Invasive Species Protection Act” Referred to Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research (January 13, 2020).
H.R.5587 “To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the regulation of hemp-derived cannabidiol and hemp-derived cannabidiol containing substances” Referred to Committees on Agriculture & Energy and Commerce (January 13, 2020).
H.R.5563 “Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act of 2020” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (January 9, 2020). 
H.Res.775 “Recognizing and honoring Smokey Bear's 75 years of service to the United States and commitment to preventing unwanted human-caused wildfires and promoting forest health” Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry (January 9, 2020).
H.R.5430 “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act” Senate-Committee on Finance, ordered to be reported without amendment favorably (January 7, 2020).

U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry Committee Actions: 
No new actions January 1-7, 2020

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Connect with us on FacebookEvery week we post the CASL Ledger detailing all of our publications and activities from the week. 
Want to get updates, but prefer to listen?  Check out the Agricultural Law PodcastSubscribe at our Libsyn page, iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.
Review last month’s biggest legal developments in agriculture in the December 2019 Agricultural Law BriefIf you’d like to receive this monthly update via email, check out our website and subscribe.


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Agricultural Law Weekly Review —January 9, 2019

Written by:  
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney
Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Weekly Review provides an update of recent agricultural law developments from the local, state, national, and international levels.  Subscribe to the ALWR at pennstateaglaw.com

Dairy Policy:  Borden Dairy Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy 
On January 5, 2020, Borden Dairy Company, headquartered in Dallas, TX, and seventeen affiliated companies (collectively “Borden”) filed Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  The bankruptcy proceedings are being jointly administered under Case No. 20-10010.  Borden’s bankruptcy claims agent has established a website for public access to the court dockets, filings, notices and other legally required disclosures at www.donlinrecano.com/borden.  A thirty-one page declaration of Borden CFO Jason Monaco filed in support of the bankruptcy petitions contains a lengthy narrative account of the firm’s history and what lead to bankruptcy.  Borden maintains a website for public communication about the bankruptcy at www.bordenfinancialreorg.com which includes FAQ documents addressed to customers, consumers, raw milk suppliers and vendorsAccording to Borden, the bankruptcy process will be used to “pursue a financial restructuring designed to reduce its current debt load” and continue in business.  According to its website, Borden was taken private in 1995, is presently owned by ACON Investments, LLC, operates thirteen dairy processing plants and ninety-one “branches,” processes 500 million gallons of milk annually and has 3,300 employees. 

Agricultural Labor:  Federal Court Enjoins Enforcement of New York’s Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act 
On December 31, 2019, Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the State of New York from enforcing portions of the 2019 state law known as the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act which treat family and supervisory employees as farm laborers under New York law and provide them certain protections against changes in wages. New York State Vegetable Growers, et al. v. Cuomo, et al., 1:19cv1720.  The case was commenced by Complaint on December 30, 2019, just two days before the Act was to become effective on January 1, 2020.  The plaintiffs allege the Act violates the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause and is preempted by the National Labor Relations Act. The TRO was entered after oral argument of the parties pending a hearing scheduled for January 24, 2020. 

Biofuels:  U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Hear Appeal Involving Renewable Fuel Standard  
On January 2, 2020, Valero Energy Corporation and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (Petitioners) filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to reverse the decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) in three consolidated cases against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Valero, et al. v. EPA, No. 19-835. Petitioners were unsuccessful before the Court of Appeals in seeking to force EPA to apply and enforce compliance obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to fuel blenders, in addition to fuel refineries and importers, as part of EPA’s annual establishment of RFS mandates.  

Farmland Preservation: NRCS Publishes Interim Rule on Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
On January 6, 2020, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) published notice of the issuance of an Interim Rule, effective December 30, 2019, conforming its regulations promulgated under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to statutory changes made to the program in the 2018 Farm Bill. 85 FR 558.  NRCS is accepting public comment on the Interim Rule until March 6, 2020. 

From National Ag Law Authorities & Sources: 
Kristine A. Tidgren, Reviewing Key 2019 Agricultural Law Developments (January 2, 2020). 
Paul Goeringer, Top Developments in Ag Law in 2019 (January 7, 2020). 

Penn State Research:

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Press Releases:

Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Department of Agriculture
50 Pa.B. 11 “General Permit Standards and Requirements for Hemp” Notice (January 4, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 20 “Standards and Requirements for the Agricultural Business Development Center Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program” Notice (January 4, 2020).

Department of Environmental Protection 
50 Pa.B. 107 “Stream Redesignation Evaluations; Class A Wild Trout Designated Streams” Notice (January 4, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 107 “Household Hazardous Waste Education Grant Awards under Section 901 of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, Act 101 of 1988” Notice (January 4, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 24 “The Clean Streams Law and the Federal Clean Water Act:
Applications for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits and Water Quality Management (WQM) Permits” Notice (January 4, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 106 “Applications for Reimbursement for Certified Host Municipality Inspectors under Act 101 (Section 1102), the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 1988, and Act 108 (Section 304), the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act of 1988” Notice (January 4, 2020).

Department of Transportation/Turnpike Commission
50 Pa.B. 129 “Operational Automated Speed Enforcement System in Work Zones under 75 Pa.C.S. §3369” Notice (January 4, 2020).

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
50 Pa.B. 138 “Water Service” Notice (January 4, 2020). 

Pennsylvania Legislature
S.Res. 153 “A Concurrent Resolution urging the Congress of the United States to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade” Referred to Commerce [House] (January 2, 2020). 
H.B. 376 “An Act amending . . . [P.L.6, No.2] authorizing a tax credit for a member of a volunteer emergency service organization who purchases fire equipment with personal income” Laid on Table [House] (January 7, 2020). 
H.B. 1189 “An Act amending . . . [P.L.6, No.2] providing for volunteer emergency responders employer tax credit” Laid on Table [House] (January 7, 2020). 
S.B. 905 “An Act providing for the capital budget for fiscal year 2019-2020; itemizing public improvement projects . . .” Referred to Rule and Executive Nominations [Senate] (December 18, 2019). 

Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices: 
Agricultural Marketing Service 
85 FR 638 “Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate” Rule (January 7, 2020). 
85 FR 422 “Regulations and Procedures Under the Plant Variety Protection Act” Rule (January 6, 2020). 

Commodity Credit Corporation
85 FR 558 “Agricultural Conservation Easement Program” Rule—Comments Accepted (January 6, 2020). 

Environmental Protection Agency
85 FR 310 “Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations and Amendments To Terminate Uses” Notice (January 3, 2020). 
85 FR 307 “Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations and Amendments To Terminate Uses” Notice (January 3, 2020). 
85 FR 94 “Registration Review; Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability” Notice—Comment Period (January 2, 2020). 

Farm Credit Administration
85 FR 312 “Sunshine Act Meeting; Farm Credit Administration Board [January 9, 2020]” Notice (January 3, 2020). 
85 FR 647 “District Financial Reporting” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (January 7, 2020). 

Fish and Wildlife Service
85 FR 487 “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Kanab Ambersnail From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (January 6, 2020). 
85 FR 164 “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Hawaiian Hawk From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” Rule (January 2, 2020).   

Food and Drug Administration
85 FR 714 “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Index of Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drugs for Minor Species” Notice—Comment Period (January 7, 2020). 
85 FR 718 “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Advisory Committee Nomination Applications” Notice—Comment Period (January 7, 2020). 

Forest Service
85 FR 493 “West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee” Notice (January 6, 2020). 

International Trade Commission
85 FR 117 “Certain Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers and Parts Thereof From China Institution of a Five-Year Review” Notice—Comment Period (January 2, 2020). 

Land Management Bureau
85 FR 334 “Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Domestic Sheep Grazing Permit Renewals, Gunnison Field Office, Colorado” Notice (January 3, 2020). 

Office of U.S. Trade Representative
85 FR 549 “Notice of Product Exclusions: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation” Notice (January 6, 2020). 

Small Business Administration
85 FR 409 “Administrative Declaration of a Disaster for the State of Texas” Notice (January 3, 2020). 
85 FR 408 “Administrative Declaration of a Disaster for the State of Mississippi” Rule (January 3, 2020).

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Actions: 
H.R.5430 “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act” Senate-Committee on Finance, ordered to be reported without amendment favorably (January 7, 2020).

U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry Committee Actions: 
No new actions January 1-7, 2020

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