Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney
The Agricultural Law Weekly Review provides an update of recent agricultural law developments from local, state, national, and international levels. Subscribe at pennstateaglaw.com.
Want to listen to this Weekly Review? Check out the Agricultural Law Podcast.
Pesticides: Plaintiffs Withdraw Class Settlement after Judge Expresses Doubt
On July 6, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a pretrial order in the case In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, expressing doubt about the “propriety and fairness” of Monsanto/Bayer’s proposed $10 billion payment to settle most pending and all future glyphosate suits. The court articulated several specific concerns about the company’s proposed settlement of all future claims through a class action process with a panel of scientists deciding “whether and at what dose Roundup is capable of causing cancer.” The Court questioned the “appropriateness” of “lock[ing] in a decision” “in an area where the science may be evolving.” Subsequently, on July 8, 2020, Monsanto/Bayer consented to the Plaintiffs’ withdrawal of their previously filed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement. For more on Monsanto/Bayer’s settlement proposal, see Agricultural Law Weekly Review—week ending June 26 , 2020, “Bayer Announces Settlement of Glyphosate Exposure and Dicamba Drift Claims.”
Industrial Hemp: FinCEN Issues Guidance on Hemp Banking
On June 29, 2020, the U.S. Treasury, Financial Crimes and Investment Network (FinCEN) issued guidance on the conduct of customer due diligence (CDD) under the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) regulatory requirements for hemp-related businesses. This guidance is the previously-announced follow-up to the December 3, 2019 guidance from the Federal Reserve and other financial institution regulatory bodies on hemp banking. For more, see the December 5, 2019, Agricultural Law Weekly Review, titled “Federal Reserve Issues Statement on Hemp Banking.”
COVID-19: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Expands Eligible Commodities
On July 10, 2020, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published in the Federal Register two new rules that qualify additional commodities and correct payment rates for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP): (a) “Notice of Funding Availability” for additional eligible commodities (85 FR 41321); (b) “Correction” to specialty crop payment rates (85 FR 41328). Announced on July 9, 2020, the new rules qualify more than forty commodities for CFAP payments and expands payments for seven currently eligible commodities. Additionally, the new rules disqualify peaches and rhubarb from “CARES Act sales loss” payments going forward.
Dairy Policy: Third 2020 Monthly DMC Payment Triggered, 2021 Enrollment Begins October 13, 2020
On July 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced that the May 2020 margin (“the difference between the all milk price and the average feed price”) reached $5.37 per hundredweight, falling beneath the $9.50 threshold and activating payment distributions for dairy producers who purchased the applicable amount of buy-up coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. The threshold for DMC payment has been met for March and April 2020, while far less milk production is covered in 2020 (56%) due to reduced enrollment, as compared to 2019 (82%). Enrollment for 2021 coverage runs from October 13, 2020 through December 11, 2020.
COVID-19: Paycheck Protection Program Data Released, Application Period Re-opens On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the availability of loan-level data for loans administered under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). For loans of $150,000 and above, the data includes, among many details, each loan recipient’s business name and address, the range of the recipient’s loan amount, and the number of jobs retained by the recipient’s business. SBA is withholding the names and addresses of loan recipients drawing less than $150,000. Additionally, SBA began accepting applications again on July 6, 2020 in accordance with the recently passed legislation extending the PPP application period until August 8, 2020 (S.4116).
Food Policy: Vermont Universal Recycling Law Bans Food Scraps from Trash
On July 1, 2020, the final stage of Vermont’s 2012 Universal Recycling Law (Act 148; H.485) became effective, banning food scraps from Vermont trash cans and landfills. The law, which has been phased in over the past six years beginning with large-scale food scrap-producing entities, now requires that all food scraps be “managed separately from trash,” and either composted or used for animal feed. In accordance with the effective provision, Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation has issued Food Scrap Ban Guidance for residents and businesses. According to the guidance, food scraps may be composted at the individual household level or through local waste management compost drop-off or pick-up. For “non-residential customers and apartments with four units or more,” waste haulers must provide food scrap collection services.
COVID-19: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Pennsylvania Data
PENNSYLVANIA Payments Applications
Non-Specialty Crops $11,830,228 2,997
Specialty Crops $2,290,715 32
Livestock $17,672,574 3,186
Dairy $64,974,517 1,963
TOTALS $96,768,034 8,178
COVID-19 Ag Legal Update Webinar Series
Penn State Law’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law is conducting 60-minute webinars on COVID-19 legal developments viewable live or recorded, via the links provided below.
UPCOMING on July 14, 2020, at 11:00 am:
- COVID-19 Ag Legal Update Webinar #3 – Focus on Labor Laws Compliance
- Link to join: https://psu.zoom.us/j/95809623901
- COVID-19 Ag Legal Update Webinar #2 - Focus on Dairy (recorded June 24, 2020)
- COVID-19 Ag Legal Update Webinar #1 - Overview of state and federal government responses (recorded June 3, 2020)
From National Ag Law Authorities & Sources:
Roger McEowen, How Many Audit “Bites” of the Same Apple Does IRS Get? (July 6, 2020).
Sarah Everhart, It is Time to Sign Up for the 2020-2021 MDA Cover Crop Program (July 7, 2020).
Brigit Rollins, To List or Not to List: Monarch Butterfly ESA Decision Due at End of 2020 (July 9, 2020).
Penn State Research & News:
Jeff Mulhollem, Antioxidants in Corn Line Could Aid Human IBD Protection, Therapy (July 6, 2020).
Jamie Oberdick, Engineering Student Researches Antibiotic Removal Method for Water Supply (July 8, 2020)
AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Press Releases:
No new announcements July 6–10
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Press Releases:
USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Utah (July 9, 2020).
USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Nevada (July 10, 2020).
USDA Announces Community Prosperity Funding Opportunity (July 10, 2020).
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agencies Press Releases:
USDA Improves Crop Insurance Policies with New Options (July 6, 2020).
May Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program Payment (July 7, 2020).
USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2020 Crop Peanuts (July 9, 2020).
Pennsylvania Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices:
Department of Environmental Protection
50 Pa.B. 3485 Statements of Policy: “Water Quality Toxics Management Strategy —Statement of Policy” (July 11, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3549 Notice: “Stream Redesignation Evaluations; Cold Water Fishes in the Allegheny River Basin” (July 11, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3547 Notice: “Federal Consistency under the Coastal Zone Management Act; Dredging of the Federal Navigation Channel in the Delaware River” (July 11, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3490 Notice: “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” (July 11, 2020).
Fish and Boat Commission
50 Pa.B. 3553 Notice: “Classification of Wild Trout Streams; Additions, Revisions and Removal” (July 11, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3552 Notice: “Additions to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters” (July 11, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3406 EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2019-07 AS AMENDED: “Commonwealth Leadership in Addressing Climate Change through Electric Sector Emissions Reductions” (July 11, 2020).
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
50 Pa.B. 3562 Notice: “Projects Approved for Minor Modifications” (July 11, 2020).
50 Pa.B. 3560 Notice: “Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water” (July 11, 2020).
Presented to the Governor
H.B. 2045 “An Act authorizing the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, with the approval of the Governor, to grant and convey to Ohiopyle Borough, Fayette County, certain lands situate in Ohiopyle Borough, Fayette County, in exchange for Ohiopyle Borough granting and conveying certain lands to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be added to those existing lands at Ohiopyle State Park.” Presented to the Governor (July 7, 2020).
Senate Legislation in the House
S.B. 1182 “An Act amending . . . the Pennsylvania Agricultural Fair Act, providing for COVID-19 Emergency Agricultural Fair Grant Program.” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [House] (July 8, 2020).
Legislation in the House
H.B. 2149 “An Act amending . . . the Hardwoods Development Council Act, further providing for Hardwoods Development Council.” Third consideration and final passage [House 201-0] (July 8, 2020).
H.B. 2025 “An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a public comment process on and submit to the General Assembly a measure or action intended to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions by imposing a revenue-generating tax or fee on carbon dioxide emissions.” Third consideration and final passage [House 130-71] (July 8, 2020).
H.B. 2657 “An Act amending . . . the Tax Reform Code of 1971, in fireworks, further providing for use of consumer fireworks and for penalties.” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs [House] (July 8, 2020).
Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices:
85 FR 41226 Notice: “Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2021 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and Molasses” (July 9, 2020).
85 FR 41328 Rule: “Coronavirus Food Assistance Program; Correction” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41321 Rule: “Notice of Funding Availability; Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Additional Eligible Commodities” (July 10, 2020).
Agricultural Marketing Service
85 FR 40571 Notice: “Revisions to the Federal Seed Act Regulations” (July 7, 2020).
85 FR 40867 Rule: “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard; Guidance on Validation of a Refining Process and Selecting a Testing Method” (July 8, 2020).
85 FR 40867 Rule: “Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2019-20 Crop Year” (July 8, 2020).
85 FR 41173 Rule: “Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings Pertaining to Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders” (July 9, 2020).
85 FR 41323 Rule: “Sweet Onions Grown in Walla Walla Valley of Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon; Increased Assessment Rate” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41325 Rule: “Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Increased Assessment Rate” (July 10, 2020).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
85 FR 40184 Notice—Comment Period: “Use of Radio Frequency Identification Tags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40199 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Annual Retail Trade Survey” (July 6, 2020).
Employment and Training Administration
85 FR 40320 Notice: “Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Ohio” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40321 Notice: “Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Wyoming” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40321 Notice: “Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Utah” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40321 Notice: “Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Arizona and Nebraska” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40322 Notice: “Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Rhode Island and Washington” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40322 Notice: “Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Alaska, Kansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont” (July 6, 2020).
Environmental Protection Agency
85 FR 40122 Rule—Comment Period: “2-Propenoic acid, homopolymer, ester with α-methyl-ω-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) and α-[2,4,6-tris(1-phenylethyl)phenyl] -ω-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), graft, sodium salt; Tolerance Exemption” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40126 Rule—Comment Period: “1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid (ACC); Temporary Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40128 Rule—Comment Period: “S-metolachlor; Pesticide Tolerances” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40118 Rule—Comment Period: “Oxathiapiprolin; Pesticide Tolerances” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 41411 Rule: “Tetraethyl Orthosilicate; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance” (July 10, 2020).
Farm Credit Administration
85 FR 40442 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards; Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Flood Insurance” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 41237 Notice: “Sunshine Act Meeting of the Farm Credit Administration Board” (July 9, 2020).
Federal Emergency Management Agency
85 FR 41195 Rule: “Suspension of Community Eligibility [Pennsylvania]” (July 9, 2020).
85 FR 41623 Notice: “Louisiana; Emergency and Related Determinations” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41617 Notice: “Michigan; Emergency and Related Determinations” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41623 Notice: “Michigan; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of an Emergency Declaration” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41608 Notice: “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations [Ala., Colo., Fla., Ga., N.M., S.C., Tex.]” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41613 Notice: “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations [Ariz., Cal., Fla., Ill., Idaho, Ind., Mich., Neb., Nev., N.J., N.Y., Tex., Wash., Wis.]” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41618 Notice: “Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations [Ala., Colo., Conn., Fla., Ky., Me., N.M., N.C., S.C., Tex., Utah]” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41621 Notice: “Alabama; Major Disaster and Related Determinations” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41621 Notice: “Alaska; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41621 Notice: “Mississippi; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration” (July 10, 2020).
85 FR 41617 Notice: “North Carolina; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration” (July 10, 2020).
Food and Drug Administration
85 FR 40299 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Qualitative Data To Support Social and Behavioral Research for Food, Dietary Supplements, Cosmetics, and Animal Food and Feed” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 41588 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards” (July 10, 2020).
Food and Nutrition Service
85 FR 40187 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Survey of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Case Management” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 40186 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Store Applications, Forms FNS-252, FNS-252-C, FNS-252-E, FNS-252-FE, FNS-252-R and FNS-252-2” (July 6, 2020).
85 FR 41387 Notice: “Land Uses; Special Uses; Procedures for Operating Plans and Agreements for Powerline Facility Maintenance and Vegetation Management Within and Abutting the Linear Boundary of a Special Use Authorization for a Powerline Facility” (July 10, 2020).
International Trade Commission
85 FR 41355 Notice: “Implementing Rules for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (July 10, 2020).
Partnerships and Public Engagement Office
85 FR 41516 Notice: “Funding Opportunity Announcement-Solicitation for Applications To Assist Persistent Poverty Farmers, Ranchers, Agriculture Producers and Communities Through Agriculture Resources” (July 10, 2020).
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
85 FR 41524 Notice—Comment Period: “Inviting Applications for the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program” (July 10, 2020).
Small Business Administration
85 FR 40728 Notice: “Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of North Carolina” (July 7, 2020).
85 FR 40727 Notice: “Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of Mississippi” (July 7, 2020).
85 FR 40727 Notice: “Administrative Declaration of a Disaster for the State of Michigan” (July 7, 2020).
85 FR 41088 Notice: “Administrative Declaration of an Economic Injury Disaster for the State of Louisiana” (July 8, 2020).
Tennessee Valley Authority
85 FR 41656 Notice: “Natural Resource Plan in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia” (July 10, 2020).
Trade Representative, Office of United States
85 FR 41658 Notice: “Notice of Product Exclusions and Amendments: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation” (July 10, 2020).
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Actions:
H.R.7487 “To promote and support the local arts and creative economy in the United States.” Referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management (July 6, 2020).
H.R.7490 “To amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to make grants for improvements to meat and poultry facilities to allow for interstate shipment, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (July 6, 2020).
H.R.7501 “To amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to foster efficient markets and increase competition and transparency among packers that purchase livestock from producers.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (July 9, 2020).
H.R.7521 “To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to suspend increases in line speeds at meat and poultry establishments, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committees on Agriculture, Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce (July 9, 2020).
H.R.7535 “To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to expand online benefit redemption options under the supplemental nutrition assistance program, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (July 9, 2020).
H.R.7540 “To impose enhanced penalties for conduct relating to unlawful production of a controlled substance on Federal property or while intentionally trespassing on the property of another that causes environmental damage, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committees on the Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, and Agriculture (July 9, 2020).
H.R.7554 “To amend the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to promote an American agriculture first agenda and establish the position of Domestic Agriculture Supply Chain Administrator in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture to connect United States farmers with foodbanks, grocers, and nonprofit food distributors during periods of food scarcity, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (July 9, 2020).
H.R.7571 “To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to expand access in frontier States to mental health services furnished through telehealth, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Agriculture (July 9, 2020).
U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry Committee Actions:
No new actions July 6–10
Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw to receive #AgLaw HotLinks
July 6–10, 2020 Top #AgLaw links:
Minnesota's dairy farms struggle to break even but provide major boost to state's economy, Agweek (July 6, 2020).
How You Get Your Berries: Migrant Workers Who Fear Virus, but Toil On, New York Times (July 5, 2020).
Infrastructure bill falls short of meeting ag’s needs, Feedstuffs (July 3, 2020).
U.S. EPA puts 2021 biofuel blending mandate proposal on hold indefinitely, sources say, Reuters (July 2, 2020).
Report: Covid-19 to worsen food insecurity around globe, Fern’s Ag Insider (July 5, 2020).
Smithfield Foods asks court to block COVID-19 data in South Dakota, Agweek (July 2, 2020).
COVID-19 affecting canola market, Agweek (July 7, 2020).
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