The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it is seeking comments on whether the agency should reconsider its current position that consultation under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is not required when the agency approves a request to assume the Clean Water Act section 404 dredged and fill permit program. The agency is accepting comments until July 6, 2020.
EPA Seeks Comment on CWA 404 Permit Policy Regarding ESA Consultation
Department of Justice Clears Farmers’ Coordination in “Depopulation” Efforts
Water Export Expansion Halted to Protect Fish
A California federal court has temporarily halted the expansion of federal water export operations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta until the end of the month in order to protect several species listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act, including Chinook salmon and California Central Valley steelhead.
EPA Releases Draft NPDES Aquaculture Permit in New England
The Environmental Protection has announced the availability of the Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Aquaculture General Permit for discharges for Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production facilities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The agency is accepting comments on this document until June 10, 2020.
Senator Warren to Co-Sponsor Senator Booker’s Farm System Reform Act
Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that she will co-sponsor the Farm System Reform Act, legislation introduced in 2019 that would both prevent the construction of any new factory farms and require the closure of existing factory farms by the year 2040. The legislation would also amend the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to bolster antitrust enforcement and require country of origin labeling.
EPA Claims Michigan Dairy Suit Continuing to Flout Environmental Protection Laws
The Environmental Protection Agency has filed suit against a Michigan dairy operation, Walnutdale Family Farms LLC, alleging that the company is violating the Clean Water Act and ignoring a consent decree between it and the agency.
House Considers CAFO Moratorium Legislation
H.R. 6718, introduced by Democrat Ro Khanna, proposes to place a moratorium on concentrated animal feeding operations and to require country of origin labeling on some animal products. The full text of the bill has not yet been released.
New York Considers Shutting Down Live Animal Markets
New York Assembly Bill A10399 and Senate Bill S8291 propose to indefinitely ban the operation of markets that sell freshly slaughtered animals, sometimes referred to as wet markets. The legislation also proposes the formation of a task force to address public health and animal welfare concerns of slaughterhouses.
Ninth Circuit Upholds Livestock Grazing Permitting Process
The Ninth Circuit upheld a ruling by a lower court that the Forest Service’s permitting process for livestock grazing near the habitat of a threatened trout species does not violate environmental protection rules. The lawsuit was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Oregon Natural Desert Association.
States Challenge Replacement WOTUS Rule
A coalition of states and cities has filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that the Waters of the United States replacement rule is in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act.