Case Law Updates
Federal Case Law Updates
Washington Federal Judge Says Aquaculture Permit Unlawful
A judge has issued an order that says the Army Corps of Engineers violated the Clean Water Act when it reissued a permit allowing shellfish aquaculture in the state. The court is now accepting additional briefing regarding the appropriate remedy for the violation.
Federal Judge Blocks Plans to Undermine Sage-Grouse Habitat Protections
A federal judge has ordered the Trump Administration to hold off on 2019 Bureau of Land Management Sage-Grouse Plan Amendments, which would have created loopholes in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and California that make it easier for fracking, drilling, and other harmful activities to occur in the birds’ habitat. In the preliminary injunction, the judge sided with plaintiffs in the suit, Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Prairie Hills Audubon Society, enjoining the Bureau of Land Management from implementing its plans because, among other factors, the plaintiffs are “likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of” such relief.
Class Action Brought Against Sanderson Farms Over “Natural” Chicken Label
A lawsuit filed against Sanderson Farms alleges that the company’s labeling of its chicken products as “100% natural” misled consumers into believing that the products did not contain any antibiotic or pharmaceutical residue and that the chickens were raised in a natural environment. The suit is asking for injunctive relief as well as damages.
FWS Considers Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations
The Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to establish hunting regulations of migratory birds for the 2020-21 hunting season. The proposal includes a regulatory schedule, announces committee meetings, and describes regulatory alternatives for duck hunting. Comments are accepted until November 15.
NOAA Proposes to Change Seafood Inspection Regulations
The National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking comments on its proposal to revise and update regulations regarding voluntary seafood inspection services. Comments must be received by December 16.
NOAA Requests Information for Recovery Planning for Oceanic Whitetip Shark
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced its plans to facilitate a workshop to solicit facts and information related to recovery planning for the oceanic whitetip shark. The workshop will be held November 13–14.
USDA Announces Availability of Grants for Agriculture Innovation Program
The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that it is now accepting applications for 3.5 million dollars’ worth of grants for the Agriculture Innovation Demonstration Center (AIC) program. The grants are made to projects that aim to help improve life in rural America, such as by harnessing technical innovation and supporting a rural workforce.
NOAA Announces Public Meetings on Critical Habitat for Humpback Whales
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced it will hold five public meetings on its proposal to designate additional critical habitat for several populations of humpback whales. The meetings will be held in Santa Cruz, California; Newport, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Juneau, Alaska; and Anchorage, Alaska in early November and December.
NRCS Adopts APHIS’ EIS on Management of Feral Swine
The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that it will adopt the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) developed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on managing damage done by feral pigs. The Statement evaluates potential risk to the environment and other animals of different approaches for “managing”—usually killing—feral pigs.
FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Beef Products Imported from Canada
The Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a public health alert for beef products imported from Ontario, Canada that have been recalled by a meatpacking company due to possible E. coli contamination. The agency has also recognized a similar recall for beef products from a company based in Florida.
NOAA Seeks Comments on Proposed Extension of Take Permit for Marine Mammals
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Association has announced it is considering extending a permit under the Endangered Species Act to allow for incidental harassment of marine mammals as a result of vibratory and impact pile driving in Auke Bay, Alaska. The comment period is open until November 18, 2019
NOAA Seeks Comments on Application for Take of Marine Mammals
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Association has received an application for incidental take of marine mammals on which it is now accepting comments. The application requests authorization to take a small number of marine mammals along the coasts of Oregon and California over the next five years related to intertidal monitoring. The comment period is open until November 18, 2019.
Report Finds Microplastics in 20% of Mexican Fish
A new report has found that approximately one-fifth of fish products in Mexico contain microplastics. Those microplastics may act as vehicles to carry chemicals, such as BPA and toxic metals, the report says, noting that there is potential risk of human consumption of these chemicals or toxic result to the fish.
Chapter Outlines “Farmer-Friendly” Methods to Mitigate Enteric Methane Emission
A chapter in the new book Global Climate Change and Environmental Policy argues that measures to reduce enteric methane production have “immense economic and ecological benefits” to farmers. The chapter also outlines available strategies—including feeding the animals select crops and rumen manipulation—for increasing “animal productivity” as a way to reduce emissions.