Thursday, April 27, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—April 27, 2017

Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney and Jacqueline Schweichler - Education Programs Coordinator

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

ACRE: PA Attorney General Launches New Online Resource
On April 21, 2017, a new Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment (ACRE) Act 38 resource page debuted on the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s (OAG) website.  Enacted in 2005, the main purpose of ACRE is to protect Pennsylvania’s “normal agricultural operators from unauthorized local regulation.” Accordingly, under ACRE, OAG is empowered to: (1) review local ordinances to determine conflicts with State law; and (2) to bring legal action against local government units for unauthorized local regulations that prohibit or limit normal agricultural operations.  OAG’s new resource page: (1) provides a link to a brochure describing ACRE; (2) lists resources pertaining to 2017 requests for OAG ordinance review; and (3) provides information detailing how agricultural operators can submit written requests for OAG ordinance reviews.  For more information on ACRE, please visit the Center’s ACRE/Pennsylvania Act 38 library guide.

PA Apple Growers Approve New Apple Program
On April 26, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture released a statement announcing the  approval of the new Pennsylvania Apple Program. The new program replaces the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program (PAMP) which will expire next month. Pennsylvania apple growers will be assessed "five cents ($.05) per harvested bushel of apples sold for fresh market use and one cent ($.01) per harvested bushel of apples sold or accepted for processing." The program applies to any apple producer with 500 trees or more. The funds will be used for membership obligations, research, consumer education, and administrative activities. 

Senate Confirmation: Sonny Perdue Confirmed as New Secretary of Agriculture
On April 24, 2017, by a vote of 87-11, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sonny Perdue to be the new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  Following the confirmation, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Robert (R-Kan.) issued the following statement regarding the former Georgia Governor:
“I’m pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan fashion to confirm Governor Perdue,” Roberts said. “I have faith that Governor Perdue will put the needs of farmers and ranchers first, and I know that rural America is thankful to have such a qualified Agriculture Secretary on their side.”

White House Releases Executive Order on Agriculture 
On April 25, 2017, the White House released the Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America. The executive order creates the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.  The purpose of the task force is to "identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote in rural America agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life..." The order requires the members of the Task Force to submit a report to the president within 180 days recommending legislative and policy changes.

Dairy: USDA Requests Comment on Proposed California Federal Milk Marketing Order
On April 21, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published notice in the Federal Register of a request for public comment regarding the Proposed California Federal Milk Marketing Order; producer ballots (82 FR 18721).  According to USDA AMS, the “document invites comments on the proposed ballots to be used in conducting a referendum to determine whether the issuance of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California is favored by producers and cooperative associations.” Comments must be received by June 20, 2017.

COOL: Italy Requires Country of Origin Labeling on Dairy Products
On April 23, 2017, the European Supermarket Magazine (ESM) reported that Italy has made mandatory the labeling of products containing milk and milk derivatives.  According to ESM, “[i]f the milk has been produced, packaged and processed in Italy, the label will state: ‘Origin of Milk: Italy.’" ESM stated that “[i]f the packaging and processing phases taking place in several countries, other than Italy, the label will say: ‘Milk from EU Countries’, ‘Milk Conditioned or Processed in EU Countries’ or ‘Milk Conditioned or Processed in Non-EU Countries’”.

Census Data: USDA to Hold Meeting on Publication of Farm Operator Demographics
On April 20, 2017, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced the scheduling of an expert panel meeting “to consider questions surrounding publication of farm operator demographic data obtained through the 2017 Census of Agriculture.” Planned for May 16-17, 2017, the panel meeting will discuss “questions about NASS’s publication of 2017 Census of Agriculture farm operator demographic data including:
  • What demographic data will NASS publish on persons involved in making decisions for the farm or ranch operation?
  • What new tables and data presentations are needed to publish data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture decision-making questions?
  • How does NASS address publications in light of the specific change from single principal operator in previous censuses of agriculture to multiple persons responsible for decisions in the 2017 Census of Agriculture?”
Pennsylvania Legislation:
  • Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs: SB 632 (Grain Dealer Bonding Act)
  • Senate Environmental Resources and Energy: SB 645 (Increased Penalties - Solid Waste Violations)
  • House Environmental Resources and Energy: HB 1256 (Moving DEP Farm Permitting to SCC)
Pennsylvania Actions and Notices:
AgLaw HotLinks:

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For a comprehensive summary of daily judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food, visit The Ag & Food Law Blog.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review - April 20, 2017 (Revised)

Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture: 

Right to Farm: Luzerne County Common Pleas Court Dismisses Nuisance Suit against Swine Operation
On April 13, 2017, the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas granted summary judgment dismissing a nuisance suit brought against a Salem Township swine operation (Burlingame v. Dagostin, Luzerne County, No. 2015-02092).  In a consolidation of three separate actions, neighbors surrounding a pig farm claimed that the operation of the farm, “and most particularly the spreading of its resultant liquid swine manure on the fields surrounding it,” was a private nuisance. The court disagreed and held that the neighbors were barred from pursuing a nuisance action under the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act (RTFA) (3 P.S. §§951-957).  The court held that the swine operation had an approved Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Plan prior to the commencement of spreading liquid swine manure which made computation of RTFA’s one year time limit irrelevant.  The court also held that the operation of a concentrated animal feeding operation and the spreading of liquid swine manure are “normal agricultural operations.” Finally, the court held that the swine operation had been lawfully operating since it began and it was in full compliance with its nutrient management plan.  For more information regarding this case, please see the previous Center publication found here.

Air Quality: Court Strikes Down Agricultural Exemptions to EPCRA and CERCLA Reporting Requirements
On April 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, vacated a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that provided a complete agricultural exemption for reporting air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) as well as a partial agricultural exemption for reporting air emissions under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) (Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, 2017 WL 1323525).  CERCLA and EPCRA "require parties to notify authorities when large quantities of hazardous materials (such as ammonia or hydrogen sulfide) are released into the environment."  Under the final EPA rule, promulgated on December 18, 2008, concentrated animal feeding operations were required to report air emissions under EPCRA while all other agricultural operations were exempted from EPCRA reporting requirements.  The final rule exempted all agricultural operations from CERCLA reporting requirements.  Barring a successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the court's ruling will require all agricultural operations to comply with CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste above the defined statutory threshold.
 
Avian Influenza: States Lift Restrictions
This past week, two southern states recently affected by avian influenza announced a loosening of poultry restrictions.  On April 12, 2017, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) announced a release “of the control zone surrounding two Lincoln County poultry farms affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).” Additionally, TDA stated that “[t]he statewide poultry health advisory is also lifted, and poultry owners can now resume regular activity.” On April 13, 2017, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) announced that the state veterinarian “has released surveillance zones surrounding two Christian County farms following negative test results for low pathogenic avian influenza from both commercial and backyard poultry operations.” KDA did state, however, that “[t]he quarantines on the two affected farms remain in place pending completion of cleaning and disinfection procedures.” 

Farmland Preservation: Pennsylvania Preserves Thirty-One New Farms
On April 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) announced that the Commonwealth has added “2,432 more acres on 31 farms in 19 counties” to the list of preserved farmland.  According to PDA, the preserved farmland is in the following counties: “Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Tioga, Wayne, and Westmoreland.” PDA stated that “[s]ince the program began in 1988, federal, state, county and local governments have invested more than $1.3 billion to preserve 533,457 acres on 5,102 farms in 58 counties for future agricultural production.” 

Federal Administrative Actions and Notices:
Agricultural Marketing Service
Department of Justice
Environmental Protection Agency
Pennsylvania Administrative Actions and Notices:
Department of Environmental Protection
Senate Environmental Resources and Energy
SB 605 Pipeline Impact Fee
House Agriculture and Rural Affairs
HB 1220 Food Handling Legislation 

AgLaw HotLinks:
"USDA seeks to advance modernized pork slaughter" -Meatingplace 

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Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—April 13, 2017

Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney

The following information is an update of recent, local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Right to Farm: PA Court Rules on Application and Storage of Wastewater
On April 4, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled on a case involving a neighbor nuisance suit and the Pennsylvania Right to Farm (RTF) law (Branton v. Nicholas Meat, LLC, 2017 PA Super 88 No. 536 MDA 2016).  The court determined that so long as an agricultural operation “substantially complies with relevant federal, state, and local laws” the agricultural operation still meets RTF’s “lawful” requirement.  Accordingly, the court stated that “a lawful use is not rendered unlawful simply because an owner may have been cited for an infraction for noncompliance in connection with the use.” Additionally, the court held that both the application and storage of food processing waste are normal agricultural operations under RTF.  The court determined, however, that the construction of a 2,400,000 gallon storage tank was a “substantial change” to the agricultural operation.  As a result, because the neighbors brought suit within one year of the change, the case was not barred under RTF.

Packers and Stockyards Act: GIPSA Rule Enforcement is Delayed Six Months  
On April 12, 2017, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) published notice in the Federal Register that the agency “is delaying the effective date of the rule published on December 20, 2016, for an additional six months to October 19, 2017” (82 FR 17531).  According to GIPSA, the “rule addresses the scope of sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921” (81 FR 92566).  GIPSA stated that the delay in the rule’s effective date is “in response to a comment received from a national general farm organization that requested an extension of time and to allow time for further consideration by USDA.”

Litigation: “Pink Slime” Case Moves to Trial
On April 5, 2017, Reuters reported that “ABC Broadcasting has lost a last-ditch bid before South Dakota’s highest court to avoid a trial in a beef producer’s $5.7 billion defamation case over reports about a product that critics call ‘pink slime.’” According to Reuters, Beef Products Inc. (BPI) produces “[l]ean, finely textured beef [which] is made from beef chunks, including trimmings and exposed to tiny bursts of ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria.”  BPI’s suit alleges that the company was damaged when ABC referred to “BPI’s “lean finely textured beef” product as "pink slime."  Reuters stated that with the recent ruling, the trial is scheduled to begin on June 5, 2017.

Biosecurity: Public Meetings Scheduled Regarding Animal Disease Traceability
On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that the agency will hold “a series of public meetings to receive input on the current Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) system.” According to APHIS, “[t]he meetings will allow APHIS to hear from the public about the successes and challenges of the current ADT framework, specifically for traceability in cattle and bison.”  The meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
April 11: Oklahoma City, OK
April 13: Riverdale, MD
April 20: Nashville, TN
May 2: Bloomington, MN
May 4: Denver, CO
May 11: Rancho Cordova, CA
May 24: Billings, MT  

Federal Administrative Actions and Notices:
Agricultural Department

Environmental Protection Agency

Farm Credit

Food & Drug Administration

Pennsylvania Administrative Actions and Notices:
Department of Environmental Protection

Pennsylvania Legislation:
Senate Agricultural and Rural Affairs
SB 567: Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act

AgLaw HotLinks:

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Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—April 6, 2017

Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney

The following information is an update of recent, local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Antitrust: Danone Must Divest Stoneyfield in Order to Proceed with WhiteWave Acquisition
On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced “that it will require Danone S.A. to divest Danone’s Stonyfield Farms business in order for Danone to proceed with its $12.5 billion acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Company Inc.” According to DOJ, “without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition likely would reduce competition between the two leading participants and top brands in the markets for raw and fluid organic milk, potentially harming dairy farmers in the northeast and U.S. consumers of fluid organic milk.”

Food Safety: Waivers Announced for Sanitary Transportation Rule
On April 5, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the publication of three businesses waivers to the Sanitary Transportation rule required under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  According to FDA, “[t]he Sanitary Food Transportation Act (SFTA) allows the agency to waive the requirements of this FSMA rule if it determines that the waiver will not result in the transportation of food under conditions that would be unsafe for human or animal health, or contrary to the public interest.” FDA stated that the “waivers are being published after being described in the proposed and final rule” and after FDA’s consideration of comments regarding the waivers.

Avian Influenza: USDA Releases Policy Memo on Confinement of Organic Poultry
On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service
National Organic Program issued a policy memorandum regarding the confinement of organic poultry flocks due to low or highly pathogenic avian influenza.  According to USDA, “[c]ertified organic poultry operations must establish and maintain preventative livestock health care practices, which may include temporary confinement.” USDA stated that “[i]f it is determined that temporary confinement of birds is needed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of organic flocks, then producers and certifiers may work together to determine an appropriate method and duration of confinement of organic poultry flocks without a loss of organic certification.”

Seed Law: PA Secretary of Ag Warns Farmers to Only Purchase Seeds from Licensed Dealers
On March 31, 2017, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding issued a press release advising agricultural producers to only purchase properly labeled seeds from a licensed seed dealer.  According to Secretary Redding, “[s]eed that is not tested and labeled, sometimes packaged in an unlabeled ‘brown bag,’ is being sold illegally and its quality should be considered suspect.” Secretary Redding stated that “[a]nyone offering seed for sale, whether for cover-crop or crop production, is required by law to be licensed in Pennsylvania.” As a result, the Secretary advised farmers to only purchase seed from a licensed seed dealer.

Local Food: Market Changes to Community Supported Agriculture
On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the release of a report entitled: Community Supported Agriculture: New Models for Changing Markets.  According to USDA, the report found the following changes to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business models:
  • “CSA operations represent only one portion of a farmer’s diversified marketing strategy”
  • “Market diversification is expected to increase”
  • “Product variety and season extending techniques are on the increase”
  • “Partnerships tied to wellness programs could help create an important new source of demand for CSA subscriptions” 

Pennsylvania Legislation:
House Agricultural & Rural Affairs
HB 1026: Dog Wardens Right to Carry
HB 1044: Legislation Regarding Lost Dogs (former HB 1819)
HB 1053: Re-introduction of Clean and Green legislation

House Environmental Resources and Energy:
HB 1060: PA Clean Streams Law

Pennsylvania Administrative Actions and Notices:
Department of Agriculture:
Department of Agriculture:

AgLaw HotLinks:

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Check out this week’s new Agricultural Law in the Spotlight! Federal Court Dismisses Des Moines Water Works Case

Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Agricultural Law in the Spotlight: Federal Court Dismisses Des Moines Water Works Case

Written by Robert T. Caccese—Staff Attorney

On March 17, 2017, the U.S. District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Iowa municipal water utility against thirteen Iowa agricultural water drainage districts (Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa v. SCA County Board of Supervisors, 2017 WL 1042072). The Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) is a municipal water utility (political subdivision) charged with providing drinking water to an estimated 500,000 citizens in the Des Moines area. The utility draws water primarily from the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers, with the Raccoon draining over two million acres across seventeen counties. As a public water supplier, DMWW is mandated to meet maximum contaminant levels when serving water to customers, per obligations set out in state laws and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Included as a contaminant are nitrates, a common by-product of fertilizers in agricultural field runoff. Since the mid-1990s, nitrate concentrations in the Raccoon River have increased beyond acceptable standards set out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, requiring DMWW to increase its resources to treat water from the river into safe drinking levels.. Specifically, DMWW stated three water treatment plants had been in continuous operation for extended time periods during 2015 and forced the authority to explore options of designing a new multi-million dollar nitrate-removal facility with larger capacities.

DMWW pointed to Iowa drainage districts as the primary culprits for increased nitrate levels in Raccoon River water. Drainage districts are political subdivision creations of Iowa with the purpose of allowing wetland areas to be converted into productive agricultural land. Districts enable property owners to fund improvements together, specifically through placement of tiles in swales, ditches, or man-made canals, which collect and convey water to streams and rivers. Importantly, the Iowa Legislature limited the powers of drainage districts to solely draining water from overlying land when it created the entities. In this specific part of Iowa, thirteen drainage districts contribute flows to the Raccoon River.

In 2015, DMWW filed suit in U.S. District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division against the Sac County Board of Trustees as Trustees of Drainage Districts, et. al. (thirteen districts total), alleging ten causes of action ranging from Clean Water Act violations to constitutional claims. Specifically, DMWW alleged the actions of the drainage districts caused additional costs necessary for complying with state and federal water regulations because of increased nitrate contributions into the Raccoon River. Another disagreement among parties focused on whether districts were considered “point sources” under the confines of the Clean Water Act; thus requiring a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge into navigable waterways. Simply put, the case centered on which political entity retained responsibility to pay to comply with state and federal regulations. After motions for summary judgment by the defendants, the District Court certified four questions to the Iowa Supreme Court for clarification of state law to proceed with the case. Specifically, the District Court inquired about implied immunity for drainage districts, due process and equal protection violations, and property interests in regards to takings claims by the government.

With regard to immunity of drainage districts to suits for damages and/or injunctive relief, the Iowa Supreme Court focused on the text of Iowa Code Chapter 468, which lays out the powers of drainage districts. The Court reasoned under the express language of the Code, “drainage districts are limited in their powers to restoring, maintaining, and increasing the flow of water through a drainage system.” References to removing contaminants from water or the quality of the water filtered through districts is expressly missing from the Code. Because of a lack of duty to remove nitrates, redressing the perceived injury to DMWW is not possible by the drainage districts because of their limited powers conferred to them by the Legislature. As a result, DMWW lacked standing to further address the notion of whether the districts could be considered “point sources” under the Clean Water Act. The Court held that while DMWW may have suffered an injury, “drainage districts lack the ability to redress that injury.”  The District Court held the first two claims failed for this reason and granted defendants summary judgment motion.

For Counts III through X, DMWW argued the grant of immunity to drainage districts violated Due Process, Equal Protection, and Takings clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  However, the District Court noted that because DMWW is a public entity created by the Iowa Legislature, they cannot invoke protections of the Fourteenth Amendment (reserved for private entities). Furthermore, DMWW’s claim “was not based on a suspect class or fundamental right”, leading to a rational basis review by the Court. Based on the limited powers and purpose conferred to districts in their enabling legislation, the Court ruled a rational basis existed for their immunity from suit and compliance of the Equal Protection clause. Although DMWW argued irrational results in nutrient management strategy obligations cause unfairness in compliance, the District Court viewed this as a policy issue best served for the Iowa Legislature to address. In regards to alleged Due Process violations by the districts, the District Court cited no authority supported a fundamental right to clean water. Instead, the Court noted “DMWW had continuous access to Raccoon River water and districts lack the broad police powers utilized by counties and other political subdivisions,” as noted by the Iowa Supreme Court.


Finally, DMWW’s takings claim was rejected by both the Iowa and District Courts. The Takings clause of the Fifth Amendment requires compensation where the government takes “private property” for public use. In this case, water in Iowa is owned by the state in trust for the public. DMWW does not own the water, nor was denied access to it. Because Raccoon River water is considered a public resource, a taking did not occur. As a result, the Court dismissed Counts III-X and granted the drainage districts motion for summary judgement, effectively dismissing the case altogether. In sum, DMWW must continue to treat collected Raccoon River water to comply with state and federal laws and may not sue drainage districts. Instead, DMWW consumers will likely see fees increase to compensate for increased treatment costs. Overall, the Court’s ruling allows the possibility of new dialogue and collaboration among parties to develop solutions to the water quality issue, while sustaining Iowa farming practices. Significantly, the ruling may provide insight for other states faced with similar issues in this context, in particular Pennsylvania.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—March 29, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—March 29, 2017

Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney

The following information is an update of recent, local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Ag Policy: President Trump Signs Executive Order on Energy
On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order entitled: Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.  According to a White House press release, the Executive Order:
  • “directs the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend, revise, or rescind four actions related to the Clean Power Plan”
  • “rescinds Executive and Agency actions centered on the previous administration’s climate change agenda”
  • “directs all agencies to conduct a review of existing actions that harm domestic energy production and suspend, revise, or rescind actions that are not mandated by law”
  • “directs agencies to use the best available science and economics in regulatory analysis” 

Avian Influenza: Commercial Georgia Flock Confirmed Positive
On March 27, 2017, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) confirmed that a Georgia commercial poultry flock “has tested positive for H7, presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).” According to GDA, “[t]he virus was identified during routine pre-sale screening for the commercial facility.” GDA stated that the flock has been depopulated.

Ag-Gag: Arkansas Bill Signed into Law
On March 23, 2017, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law HB1665 entitled: To Create a Cause of Action for Unauthorized Access to Another Person's Property.  The legislation creates a civil cause of action for unauthorized access to agricultural property and covers an employee that “[r]ecords images or sound occurring within an employer's commercial property and uses the recording in a manner that damages the employer.”

Ag Data: Farm Groups and EPA Reach Privacy Settlement
On March 28, 2017, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) issued a press release announcing that a federal judge has approved a settlement regarding litigation brought by AFBF and the National Pork Producers Council against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  According to AFBF, the litigation was initiated “after EPA released a vast compilation of spreadsheets containing personal information about farmers and ranchers in 29 states who raise livestock and poultry, in some cases including the names of farmers, ranchers and sometimes other family members, home addresses, email addresses, GPS coordinates and telephone numbers.”  AFBF stated that as part of the settlement, EPA has agreed that “only the city, county, zip code and permit status of an operation will be released.”

Invasive Species: PDA and PSU Extension to Train Volunteers
On March 24, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) issued a press release announcing that PDA “in conjunction with Penn State Extension and Berks County Conservation District, will host a series of April public meetings to train volunteers to assist in eradicating the invasive Spotted Lanternfly.” According to PDA, the meetings will be held “in Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties.”

Pennsylvania Legislation 
  • Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs: S545 Dog Law amendment - spaying/neutering as a condition of shelter release (referred March 24, 207)
  • House Agriculture & Rural Affairs: HB 972 Additional requirements for Boarding Kennels (referred March 27, 2017)
  • House Tourism and Recreational Development: HB 977 Lease land by recreational authorities for OHV riding (RULWA) (referred March 27, 2017) 

Pennsylvania Administrative Actions and Notices

AgLaw HotLinks:

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Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here