EPA

Hands holding towel and disinfectant

New Policies Released by the EPA Today in Response to the COVID-19 Health Crisis

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two policy statements as a part of the Administration’s COVID-19 response. First, the EPA furthered its commitment to expediting the registration process for new surface disinfectant products. The EPA also announced an enforcement discretion policy under which the Agency will not seek penalties for certain civil violations related …

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John R. Block: Reports from Washington – August 23, 2018 “Wild Fires”

By former USDA  Secretary John R. Block Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you   by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you. And now for today’s commentary – …

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Tomato injected with growth hormones

How the Federal Government Can Get Biotech Regulation Right

By Nina Fedoroff and Alison Van Eenennaam, as published in the Des Moines Register In his speech at the recent American Farm Bureau convention, President Trump said his administration was “streamlining regulations that have blocked cutting-edge biotechnology.” Why is this necessary?  Paraphrasing New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s words on economic policy, it’s because we’re still living with “zombie” biotech …

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Biotech scientist testing chemicals

Biotech Regulations Must be Based on Facts, Not Fears

By Dr. Nina Fedoroff, as published in Agri-Pulse The Coordinated Framework (CF) for the Regulation of Biotechnology was first implemented 30 years ago. The CF was developed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). OSTP brought together representatives of the three federal agencies seeking to regulate commercial applications of biotechnology to …

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Food Rules Potential Targets for Elimination or Revision

Ever since the election we have been asked which Obama Administration regulations and executive actions are likely to be stricken by the new Trump Administration or the 115th Congress.  Will the focus be on the rules issued since mid May of this year, as provided for by the Congressional Review Act of 1996, or is …

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The Peat Goes On: Supreme Court Holds Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations Are Appealable

Peat miners, golfers, and landowners with real property containing or adjacent to Waters of the United States will benefit greatly from the Supreme Court’s May 31st decision in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.  Hawkes resolved whether an approved jurisdictional determination by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Approved JD”) involving wetlands owned …

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Interstate Structure to Oversee and Regulate Medical Marijuana

There is a need for an interstate structure to provide coordination and regulatory oversight of medical marijuana (cannabis) use in the 23 states that have approved its use by either referendum or legislation.  Five jurisdictions — Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia — have now also authorized the recreational use of cannabis. …

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GMO Regulatory Reform: The Way Forward

As we detailed in an earlier blog post, the White House issued a July 2nd executive memorandum on “Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products.”  The memo directs the relevant federal agencies – FDA, USDA, and EPA – to update the federal government’s Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, which was created in 1986 and last …

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New EPA Worker Protection Standard for Farmworkers

On September 28, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an advance publication of its revisions to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for farmworkers.  The revised WPS imposes new requirements for farm owners to protect workers against the risks of exposure to pesticides.  The Final Rule becomes effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, …

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EPA Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule Begins Circulating: Proposal Applies To Dietary Supplements, 503B Outsourcing Facilities, And Any OTC Retailers

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its Administrator signed the proposed rule: Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule.  The announcement and EPA blog post are here.   The summary of the pre-publication proposed rule is available here and the 267-page proposal is available for download here.  EPA is expected to publish the …

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The White House Announces Plans to Update the U.S. Regulatory Framework for Biotechnology

On July 2nd, the White House issued an executive memorandum on “Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products.”  The modernization effort will apply to “biotechnology products” defined as “products developed through genetic engineering or the targeted or in vitro manipulation of genetic information of organisms, including plants, animals, and microbes.”  It will not affect regulation …

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Spotlight on Compliance of Wood Products

By Elliot Belilos In the wake of the recent 60 Minutes piece that highlighted alleged elevated formaldehyde in the Chinese-made wood flooring imported by Lumber Liquidators, all manufacturers and importers of consumer products containing compressed wood need to ensure that their products comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) limits regarding formaldehyde emissions.  And while …

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No Horsing Around – Nevada Federal Judge Dismisses Burro Suit Against Interior Dept.

The serious environmental problems caused by unchecked wild horse populations on western rangelands are well known to state and local governments, Native American tribes, ranchers and farmers.  Efforts, however, to prompt the U.S. Department of Interior (“Interior Dept.”) and its Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) to address widespread environmental damage and other impacts caused by …

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114th Congress – What to Expect in Ag and Food

As the 114th Congress begins in earnest, there is rough sledding ahead this winter over the gulf between the governing philosophies of the President and the new Congress. Not to belabor the obvious, but early indications are that Republican victories have altered the President’s willingness to deal only very modestly, if at all.  With just …

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Free Webinar on Big Data and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

OFW Law’s John Dillard will be kicking off this year’s Ohio Food, Agriculture and Environmental Law Webinar Series with a discussion on two cutting-edge topics affecting agriculture: agricultural drones and “big data.” Mr. Dillard’s webinar will provide a brief primer on the current and potential applications for drone technology in agriculture. He will also discuss …

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John Block headshot

FDA Restricts Nutrient Content Claims for Omega-3s

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule restricting the nutrient content claims that may be made for omega-3 fatty acids.  Specifically, FDA is prohibiting existing nutrient content claims for the two omega-3s found in fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is restricting nutrient content claims for alpha-linolenic …

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Can EPA Regulate Animal Operations as Landfills?

Four Washington State dairies are the targets of environmental activists in lawsuits that could have far-reaching consequences for animal agriculture in the United States. In these cases, the environmentalists assert that the dairies’ manure storage and application practices violate the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal statute that regulates the disposal of solid …

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Environmentalists, Glyphosate and Butterflies

The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has petitioned EPA to restrict the use of glyphosate herbicide to protect the dwindling population of the monarch butterfly. The petition states that the rapid adoption of glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready®) corn and soybeans in the Midwest has depleted the milkweed “community,” which serves as the exclusive food source for …

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Eight Is Enough: EPA’s Dust and Feathers Discharge Argument Goes Down the Drain

In a decision with broad implications for production agriculture, a West Virginia federal judge concluded that Clean Water Act (CWA) permits are not required solely on the basis of dust, feathers and chicken litter from poultry barns that are washed from a farmyard to river and streams by rainfall. In Lois Alt, d/b/a Eight Is …

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Court Ruffles EPA’s Feathers: Poultry Producer Suit Permitted to Proceed Despite Withdrawal of Administrative Compliance Order

A District Court judge in West Virginia is forcing EPA to defend a challenge to a now-withdrawn Administrative Compliance Order (“ACO”) related to “dust and feather” discharges from a broiler facility.  In one of the first post-Sackett challenges to an EPA ACO under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), a West Virginia poultry producer sued EPA …

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Animal Activist Groups Saddled With Attorney’s Fees for “Groundless” Lawsuit

In an important ruling that will almost certainly be appealed, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently held that several animal rights activists groups are jointly and severally liable for the attorney’s fees Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus (“Ringling”), spent defending an Endangered Species Act …

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