Brook Duer—Staff Attorney
Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
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: Canada Formally Approves USMCA
On March 13, 2020, The Canadian House of Commons approved, the Canadian Senate approved, and Canada’s Governor General gave royal assent to legislation that formally represents Canada’s agreement to the terms of the United States Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). Canada was the final government to formally approve the USMCA. For more on the USMCA, see the Agricultural Law Weekly Review of January 23, 2020, titled “International Trade: USMCA Receives Congressional Approval, Awaits President’s Signature.”
Ag Transportation: Expanded Emergency Declaration Relaxes Hours of Service Trucking Rules For Food and Other Cargo until April 12, 2020
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, issued an expanded emergency declaration which, in part, exempts from “hours of service” rules “commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: . . . (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; (4) immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories . . . (3); . . .” [emphasis added]. EXPANDED EMERGENCY DECLARATION UNDER 49 CFR § 390.23, No. 2020-002. In its entirety, the expanded declaration provides eight different categories of transport hours of service exemptions. Upon cessation of qualified cargo transport or return to his/her assigned terminal, the driver must be given 10 or 8 hours off-duty depending upon the next cargo load. The exemption is in effect immediately and ends upon termination of the emergency declaration or April 12, 2020, whichever first occurs. According to the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), “LMA has received official interpretation from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation that ALL livestock movement fits these exemption definitions.”
Agricultural Labor: U.S Embassy and Consulates in Mexico Suspend Visa Services
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and all U.S. consulates in Mexico suspended immediately routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services until further notice. This means that all H-2A program non-immigrant visa processing for agricultural “guest workers” has been stopped.
From National Ag Law Authorities & Sources:
Brigit Rollins, The Deal With Dicamba: Part Five (Mar. 11, 2020).
Ellen Essman, What's the "dirt" on organic hydroponics? (Mar. 12, 2020).
Roger A. McEowen, More Selected Caselaw Developments of Relevance to Ag Producers—IRS Loses Valuation Case, IRAs and the Constitution, Huge FBAR Penalty Imposed (Mar. 13, 2020).
Penn State Research & News:
Jeff Mulhollem, Technique used to suppress soil pathogens, pests in high tunnels can work in Pa.: Cover crops will provide inexpensive source of carbon, sugar to make process work (Mar. 9, 2020).
Jeff Mulhollem, ‘Sustainable intensification’ of cropping systems good for farmers, environment (Mar. 12, 2020).
AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Press Releases:
Wolf Administration: PA Farmers Can Take Advantage of $1 Million PA Farm Bill Farm Vitality Grant Program for Organic Transition (Mar. 11, 2020).
Amid Universities Moving Remote for COVID-19, Pennsylvania’s Animal Laboratory System Remains Open (Mar. 13, 2020).
PA Farm Show Complex Announces Cancellation of Events in Proactive Effort Against COVID-19 (Mar. 13, 2020).
Wolf Administration Directs Families to Emergency Food Assistance During COVID-19 Mitigation (Mar. 17, 2020).
Performance-Tested Bull Sale at Pennsylvania Livestock Evaluation Center to be Held Online; Other Events Cancelled, Rescheduled (Mar. 17, 2020).
U.S. Department of Agriculture Press Releases:
APHIS Authorizes Importation of Fresh Jujube Fruit from China into the Continental United States (Mar. 11, 2020).
USDA Extends ReConnect Application Deadline to March 31 (Mar. 12, 2020).
Trump Administration Takes Major Step to Improve Implementation of the Endangered Species Act (Mar. 12, 2020).
Secretary Perdue Swears In Devon Westhill for USDA Civil Rights Post (Mar. 13, 2020).
Secretary Perdue Statement on Canada Passing USMCA (Mar. 13, 2020).
APHIS Seeking Public Comment on Potential Changes to Select Agent and Toxin Registration List (Mar. 16, 2020).
USDA's Office of Food Safety and Marketing and Regulatory Programs Statement to Industry (Mar. 16, 2020).
Notice to Stakeholders: USDA Extends Comment Period on Proposed School and Summer Meal Reforms (Mar. 17, 2020).
USDA Announces Feeding Program Partnership in Response to COVID-19 (Mar. 17, 2020).
USDA Continues Focus on Service During COVID-19 Outbreak (Mar. 17, 2020).
USDA Ensures Food Safety During COVID-19 Outbreak (Mar. 17, 2020).
USDA Working with Private Sector in Response to COVID-19 (Mar. 17, 2020).
USDA Calls for Peer Reviewers for Proposals to Help Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Grow their Businesses and Access USDA Programs (Mar. 18, 2020).
Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices:
Department of Agriculture
50 Pa.B. 1555 “Addendum to the Order of Quarantine; Spotted Lanternfly,” Notice (Mar. 14, 2020).
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
50 Pa.B. 1557 “Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council Meeting [Wednesday, March 25, 2020],” Notice (Mar. 14, 2020).
Fish and Boat Commission
50 Pa.B. 1625 “Triploid Grass Carp Permit Application,” Notice (Mar. 14, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 1625 “Temporary Change to Fishing Regulations; Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary,” Notice (Mar. 14, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 1526 “Fishing; General Fishing Regulations [display requirements for fishing licenses]” Rules and Regulations (Mar. 14, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 1527 “Fishing in Lake Erie and Boundary Lakes,” Rules and Regulations (Mar. 14, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 1549 “Preliminary Provisions; Lands and Buildings [electric bicycles],” Proposed Rulemaking (Mar. 14, 2020).
Milk Marketing Board
50 Pa.B. 1626 “Special Sunshine Meeting [Thursday, March 19, 2020],” Notice (Mar. 14, 2020).
S.B. 1089 “An Act repealing . . . The Frozen Dessert Law,” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [Senate] (Mar. 11, 2020).
H.B. 2357 “An Act . . . in game or wildlife protection, providing for unlawful release of certain balloons,” Referred to Game and Fisheries [House] (Mar. 13, 2020).
H.B. 2365 “An Act . . . further providing for the offense of cruelty to animals [Ear Cropping],” Referred to Judiciary [House] (Mar. 13, 2020).
H.B. 2347 “An Act amending . . . permits relating to wildlife, further providing for definitions,” Referred to Game and Fisheries [House] (Mar. 13, 2020).
H.B. 2348 “An Act . . . providing for Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program; establishing the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program Account; making an appropriation; and making a related repeal,” Referred to Consumer Affairs [House] (Mar. 13, 2020).
H.B. 2101 “An Act . . . further providing for definitions, for procedure for licensing as professional engineer, for continuing professional competency requirements and for exemption from licensure and registration,” Removed from Table [House] (Mar. 16, 2020).
Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices:
85 FR 14629 “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Reporting Forms Under Milk Marketing Order Programs],” Notice (Mar. 13, 2020).
85 FR 14875 “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Job Search as a supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and TrainingComponent],” Notice (Mar. 13, 2020).
85 FR 14876 “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Importation of Table Eggs from Regions Where Newcastle Disease Exists and Exportation of Poultry and Hatching Eggs],” Notice (Mar. 16, 2020).
85 FR 15109 “Grain Inspection Advisory Committee Meeting,” Notice (Mar. 17, 2020).
Agricultural Marketing Service
85 FR 14872 “Specified Commodities Imported Into the United States, Exempt From Import Regulations; Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 16, 2020).
85 FR 14873 “Information Collection Request: Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule Forms,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 16, 2020).
85 FR 14874 “Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 16, 2020).
Agency for International Development
85 FR 15109 “Board for International Food and Agricultural Development Public Meeting March 25, 2020, Correction,” Notice (Mar. 17, 2020).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
85 FR 14453 “Decision To Authorize the Importation of Fresh Jujube From China Into the Continental United States,” Notice (Mar. 12, 2020).
85 FR 14452 “Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 12, 2020).
85 FR 15078 “Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select Agent and Toxin List,” Proposed Rule—Comment Period (Mar. 17, 2020).
Commodity Credit Corporation
85 FR 15051 “Regional Conservation Partnership Program; Correction,” Rule (Mar. 17, 2020).
Environmental Protection Agency
85 FR 14196 “Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES Great Bay Total Nitrogen General Permit for Wastewater Treatment Facilities in New Hampshire; Reopening of Comment Period,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 11, 2020).
85 FR 15387 “Cyazofamid; Pesticide Tolerances,” Rule—Comments Accepted (Mar. 18, 2020).
85 FR 15608 “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Solvent Extraction for Vegetable Oil Production Residual Risk and Technology Review,” Rule (Mar. 18, 2020).
Executive Office of the President
85 FR 15337 “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak,” Presidential Document (Mar. 18, 2020).
Farm Service Agency
85 FR 14629 “Information Collection Request; Power of Attorney [FSA, CCC, NRCS, FCIC, and RMA programs],” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 13, 2020).
Federal Emergency Management Agency
85 FR 14693 “Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations [Iowa, Kansas],” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 13, 2020).
85 FR 14692 “Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations [Montana, Virginia],” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 13, 2020).
85 FR 14694 “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations [CO, CT, FL, GA, KY, MA, MI, NC, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT],” Notice (Mar. 13, 2020).
85 FR 15212 “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations [AL, CO, DE, FL, LA, MT, NV, NC, OH, OK, TX, UT],” Notice (Mar. 17, 2020).
85 FR 15215 “Final Flood Hazard Determinations [GA, ID, IA, MA, MI, NC, OH, RI, TX, UT, VA, WA],” Notice (Mar. 17, 2020).
85 FR 15219 “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations [AZ, CA, FL, HI, ID, MN, NJ, TX],” Notice (Mar. 17, 2020).
Fish and Wildlife Service
85 FR 14238 “Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Alabama Beach Mouse, Baldwin County, AL; Categorical Exclusion,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 11, 2020).
85 FR 14496 “Proposed Site Plans Under a Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Fisher in Oregon; Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 12, 2020).
85 FR 14697 “Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 13, 2020).
Food and Drug Administration
85 FR 14206 “Scientific Data and Information About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-Derived Compounds; Reopening of the Comment Period,” Notice—Comment Request (Mar. 11, 2020).
85 FR 14239 “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Incidental Take Permit Application, Habitat Conservation Plan for the Alabama Beach Mouse, Gulf Shores, AL; Categorical Exclusion,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 11, 2020).
85 FR 14240 “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews for 129 Species in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, California, and Nevada,” Notice (Mar. 11, 2020).
85 FR 14565 “Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals; Chromium Propionate,” Rule—Comment Period (Mar. 13, 2020).
85 FR 14947 “Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic; Draft Guidance for Food and Drug Administration Staff and Industry; Extension of Comment Period,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 16, 2020).
85 FR 15638 “Tobacco Products; Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements,” Rule (Mar. 18, 2020).
85 FR 15710 “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements: Small Entity Compliance Guide; Guidance for Industry; Availability,” Rule (Mar. 18, 2020).
85 FR 15188 “Food Additive, Color Additive (Including Labeling), Submission of Information to a Master File in Support of Petitions; and Electronic Submission Using Food and Drug Administration Form 3503,” Notice—Comment Period, Information Collection (Mar. 17, 2020).
Food Safety and Inspection Service
85 FR 14455 “Notice of Request To Renew of an Approved Information Collection: In-Home Food Safety Behaviors and Consumer Education: Annual Observational Study,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 12, 2020).
Foreign Agricultural Service
85 FR 15109 “WTO Agricultural Quantity-Based Safeguard Trigger Levels,” Notice (Mar. 17, 2020).
Housing and Urban Development Department
85 FR 14967 “30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands,” Notice—Comment Period (Mar. 16, 2020).
National Agricultural Statistics Service
85 FR 14457 “Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection [Current Agricultural Industrial Reports],” Notice (Mar. 12, 2020).
Rural Utilities Service
85 FR 14458 “Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program,” Notice (Mar. 12, 2020).
85 FR 14393 “Rural Broadband Loans, Loan/Grant Combinations, and Loan Guarantees,” Rule—Comment Period (Mar. 12, 2020).
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Actions:
H.R.6169 “To require the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to digitize and make publicly available geographic information system mapping data relating to public access to Federal land and waters for outdoor recreation, and for other purposes,” Referred to the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment (Mar. 11, 2020).
H.R.6191 “To establish a regulatory system for sustainable offshore aquaculture in the United States exclusive economic zone, and for other purposes,” Referred Committee on Natural Resources, and Committee on Agriculture (Mar. 11, 2020).
H.R.6197 “To reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” Referred to House Committee on Agriculture (Mar. 11, 2020).
H.R.6200 “To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide certain food assistance for eligible children during periods when their schools are closed due to a public health emergency; and for other purposes,” Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Committee on Education and Labor (Mar. 11, 2020).
H.R.6217 “To authorize the establishment of HOPE Account Pilot Projects, HOPE Action Plans Pilot Projects, and competitive grants for pilot projects,” Referred to Committees on Financial Services, Energy and Commerce, Agriculture, Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and the Judiciary (Mar. 12, 2020).
H.R.6228 “To allow for transfer of ownership of certain Federal parcels in Nevada, to allow for disposal of Federal lands in Nevada for economic development, to make technical corrections to existing law, for conservation, and for other purposes,” Referred to Committees on Natural Resources, Veterans' Affairs, and Agriculture (Mar. 12, 2020).
H.R.6249 “To temporarily prohibit the Federal financial regulators from requiring compliance with the CECL Rule by persons impacted by Coronavirus, and for other purposes,” Referred to Committee on Financial Services and Committee on Agriculture (Mar. 12, 2020).
H.Res.882 “Recognizing the importance of the blueberry industry to the United States of America and supporting the designation of July 2020 as ‘National Blueberry Month,’” Referred to the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research (Mar. 13, 2020).
H.R.5998 “Gold Star Families Parks Pass Act,” Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry (Mar. 13, 2020).
H.R.6023 “COMPOST Act,” Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry (Mar. 13, 2020).
U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry Committee Actions:
S.3460 “A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to disqualify certain convicted felons from eligibility in the supplemental nutrition assistance program,” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (Mar. 12, 2020).
S.3479 “A bill to amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to encourage the planting of cover crops following prevented planting, and for other purposes,” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (Mar. 12, 2020).
Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw to receive #AgLaw HotLinks
Mar. 11–17, 2020 Top #AgLaw links:
EPA’S OIG to Investigate Dicamba Registrations, Brownfield
Coronavirus muddles ASF outlook, Feedstuffs
Labor shortages, SNAP cuts, trade deals: How could coronavirus affect our food supply chain?, Fern’s AG Insider
H‑2A Visas for Agriculture: The Complex Process for Farmers to Hire Agricultural Guest Workers, CATO Institute
Ohio state senator brings back purple paint bill, Farm and Dairy
FDA is postponing most foreign inspections, Morning Ag Clips
Virus Clouds China’s Prospects to Meet U.S. Trade Commitments, The Wall Street Journal
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