Pesticides/Herbicides: EPA Publishes 2021 Dicamba Report and Addresses 2020 Growing Season
On December 21, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report titled “Status of Over-the-Top Dicamba: Summary of 2021 Usage, Incidents and Consequences of Off-Target Movement, and Impacts of Stakeholder-Suggested Mitigations.” The report is published to a “nonrulemaking docket” at Regulations.gov titled “Dicamba for Use on Dicamba-Tolerant Cotton and Soybeans”—an official repository for documents not part of a formal EPA rulemaking process but which impact EPA’s October 2020 five-year product registrations for dicamba-containing products. EPA announced that “[d]espite the control measures implemented in EPA’s October 2020 dicamba registration decision, the 2021 incident reports show little change in number, severity, or geographic extent of dicamba-related incidents when compared to the reports the Agency received before the 2020 control measures were required” and “EPA is reviewing whether over-the-top dicamba can be used in a manner that does not pose unreasonable risks to non-target crops and other plants, or to listed species and their designated critical habitats.” EPA also stated it is “evaluating all its options,” but that any changes “are unlikely to be fully implemented by the 2022 growing season” and that it is “unlikely to approve section 24(c) requests” from states for “special local needs” additional uses under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Multiple consolidated appeals to invalidate the October 2020 dicamba registrations remain pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. See ALWR—Feb. 2, 2021, “Dicamba Registration Challenges Consolidated in D.C. Circuit Court.”
National Agricultural Policy: GAO Identifies Errors in USDA Market Facilitation Program
On December 20, 2021, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report titled “USDA Market Facilitation Program: Stronger Adherence to Quality Guidelines Would Improve Future Economic Analyses” which concluded that errors were made by USDA in the administration and implementation of the $23 billion in Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments made in 2018 and 2019 in order to compensate producers for lost exports caused by foreign retaliatory tariffs. This resulted in the estimated value of 2019 lost exports upon which payments were based being “inappropriately high” and USDA distributing payments to producers in different counties receiving different payments for the same crop. The report contains two recommendations which await substantive USDA responses.
Pesticides/Herbicides: Federal Court Denies Dismissal of Round-Up Claims Under Texas Product Liability Law (For Now)
On December 28, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order denying summary judgment to Monsanto/Bayer in six cases seeking damages from exposure to its glyphosate-based Roundup products arising under and subject to Texas products liability law. In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 3:16-md-02741; Blair v. Monsanto Company, No. 3:19-cv-07984; Chapman v. Monsanto Company, No. 3:20-cv-01277; Denkins v. Monsanto Company, No. 3:20-cv-03301; Garza v. Monsanto Company, No. 3:20-cv-06988; Koen v. Monsanto Company, No. 3:20-cv-03074; Griego v. Monsanto Company, No. 3:20-cv-07391. Bayer argued that under Texas law the company’s compliance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and registration of the products with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted it a rebuttable presumption of no liability because it “complied with mandatory safety standards or regulations adopted and promulgated by the federal government.” However, the court found that Bayer’s reasoning contradicted another section of the same Texas law, granting the same presumption if complying with federal “procedures and requirements with respect to pre-market licensing or approval” and denied Bayer’s motion for summary judgment as a result. The court signaled that Bayer may have been entitled to summary judgment under Texas law if the argument were legally re-tooled and the opinion may telegraph a legal blueprint for future Bayer strategy in cases arising under Texas law. A petition for certiorari remains pending with the U.S. Supreme Court that seeks to have “failure to warn” state products liability theories against Bayer for glyphosate exposure declared preempted by federal law. See ALWR—Aug. 20, 2021, “Bayer Files for U.S. Supreme Court Review of Hardeman Round-Up Verdict.”
Water Quality: Valley Protein Halts Operations After NPDES Permit Violations
On December 22, 2021, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) announced that Valley Protein, Inc. Linkwood, a Dorchester County Maryland poultry rendering facility, had suspended its operations following a MDE inspection report finding that the facility was out of compliance with the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. MDE conducted the inspection in response to a report from water advocacy organization ShoreRivers of a “white colored discharge at the plant’s effluent pipe,” which MDE also communicated to Valley Protein in a December 16, 2021 letter stating that the agency intended to file a civil complaint against the company. According to the inspection report, MDE found that Valley Protein failed to notify MDE of pollutant discharges into the Transquaking River, which flows directly into the Chesapeake Bay, and exceeded the two-foot freeboard requirement in their wastewater lagoons. Additionally, the comment period for Valley Protein’s Linkwood NPDES permit renewal, which is currently under review, was extended until January 14, 2022 in response to a December 13, 2021 request. According to a December 24, 2021 article in the Chesapeake Bay Journal, Valley Protein entered into an interim consent order with MDE on December 23, 2021 and has since resumed operations.
Dairy Policy: Danone North America Extends Northeast Horizon Organic Contracts Until February 2023
On December 13, 2021, Danone North America, owner of Horizon Organic, sent a letter to the Northeast Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) offering to extend the purchase contracts of the eighty-nine producers terminated by the company in August 2021. See ALWR—Aug. 27, 2021, “Danone Terminates Horizon Organic Producers.” According to the letter, Danone has contacted the affected producers and offered them an additional six-month contract extension, totaling eighteen months instead of the original twelve, ending on February 28, 2023 instead of August 31, 2022. Additionally, Danone will pay an additional fee per hundredweight purchased during the extended six-month period. The contract extension and additional payments were measures requested by NODPA in an October 2021 informal petition. Maine Governor Janet Mills and Senator Chuck Schumer issued statements in response to the contract extensions. See also ALWR—Nov. 12, 2021, “Organic Organizations Allege Danone’s Horizon Contract Terminations Violate B Corp ‘Declaration of Interdependence.’”
Animal Welfare: Massachusetts Delays Implementation of its Production Animal Confinement Standards; California Prop 12 Guidance Considers Products In-Stock by January 1, 2022, Compliant
On December 22, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law S.2603, which amends 2016 Mass. Acts Ch. 333, titled “An Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals.” Section 6 of the bill revises the existing statute—which became effective January 1, 2022 and establishes cage-free egg and animal confinement standards—to delay the implementation of the confinement standards for pork products until August 15, 2022. The bill also adds a definition of “cage-free housing system” and establishes that an egg-laying hen is “confined in a cruel manner” if the bird is kept in a structure other than a cage-free system, with less than one square foot of floor space in a multi-tiered housing system, or less than one and a half square foot of space in a single-level housing system. The bill further aligns Massachusetts law with California’s Proposition 12, which also became effective January 1, 2022. However, according to December 2021 guidance issued from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), in-stock egg and pork products already in inventory or commerce on December 31, 2021 that do not meet Proposition 12 guidelines are considered compliant with the law. Additionally, CDFA states that its implementation priorities are “focused on helping stakeholders meet the deadlines outlined in Proposition 12.”
CENTER PROGRAMS & RESOURCES
Agricultural Law Podcast:
Weekly Episode #200. OSHA Vaccination Mandate Immediately Stayed by Federal Court & EPA and Army Published “Waters of the United States” Proposed Rule (Nov. 24, 2021).
Weekly Episode #199. Investors Adequately Alleged Securities Claims Against Bayer’s Monsanto Purchase & Industry Groups Appeal WOTUS Vacatur (Nov. 5, 2021).
Weekly Episode #198. Court Declines to Dismiss Suit to Compel USDA Animal Welfare Regulation & Producer Groups Challenge Chlorpyrifos Revocation (Nov. 2, 2021).
Special Episodes #13–15. Three-Part Series on Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board:
- #13. Milk Marketing Board—Part 1: What is the Board & What Does It Do?(Nov. 15, 2021).
- #14. Milk Marketing Board—Part 2: Recent Developments in Producer Payment and Termination (Nov. 15, 2021).
- #15. Milk Marketing Board—Part 3: Payment Bond Claims, Dean Bankruptcy, & Bulk Tank Calibration(Nov. 15, 2021).
Special Episode #12. Cell Cultured Food Regulations (Nov. 1, 2021).
Jan. 11 & 13, 2022, 1:00–3:15 p.m: 2nd Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show Agricultural Law Symposium, presented by the Penn State Center for Agricultural and Shale Law. 4 hours of educational webinars (PA attorney CLE credit available). Register here.
Jan. 8–15, 2022: 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show, Harrisburg, PA.
Feb. 1-3, 2022: 2022 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Hershey, PA. Center Staff Attorney Jackie Schweichler will be presenting on Legal Liability Risks from Business Invitees on the Farm (11:00 a.m.) and Legal Considerations for Agritourism (Feb. 2 at 2:30 p.m.).
Feb. 1–3, 2022: Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, Lancaster, PA. Center Staff Attorney Brook Duer will be presenting on Feb. 2 on Protecting Yourself from Animal Activism (10:40 a.m.).
Feb. 10–12, 2022: PASA Sustainable Agriculture’s 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Lancaster, PA. Virtual Pre-Conference from Jan. 4 to 28. Center Staff Attorney Brook Duer will be presenting on Feb. 12 on Direct Sale of Raw and Processed Specialty Crop Products: Legal Liabilities and Contracting (9:00 a.m.).
Top #AgLaw HotLinks Dec. 20–31, 2021
California Pork Production Law Leads to Reduced Pork Sales, Univ. Ill. Farm Policy News
Federal Watchdog: Trump’s USDA Overpaid Corn Farmers by $3B, Associated Press
GAO Report Calls for Better USDA Transparency, Brownfield
Subscribe to the joint Center and Penn State Extension Pennsylvania Farm/Food Employers’ Listserv (PFEL), a human resources networking group exclusively for farm and food employers, by sending an email with “subscribe” in the subject line to [email protected].
Agricultural Law & Policy Resources of Interest:
Academic & Government Resources
- Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., USDA Payments: Relief for Negotiated Hogs (Dec. 21, 2021).
- Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., Top Ten Agricultural Law Issues in 2021 (Dec. 20, 2021).
- Ohio State Univ. Ext. Farm Office, No Christmas Gifts for Agriculture, but Some Ohio Legislation Is Moving, Peggy Kirk Hall (Dec. 20, 2021).
- Ohio State Univ. Ext. Farm Office, What Does it Mean? [Estate Planning], Jeffrey K. Lewis (Dec. 22, 2021).
- Law and Tax’n Blog, The Home Sale Exclusion Rule—How Does it Work When Land is Also Sold?, Roger A. McEowen (Dec. 22, 2021).
- Law and Tax’n Blog, Gifting Ag Commodities To Children, Roger A. McEowen (Dec. 24, 2021).
- Law and Tax’n Blog, Livestock Indemnity Payments—What Are They? What Are the Tax Reporting Options?, Roger A. McEowen (Dec. 28, 2021).
- Law and Tax’n Blog, Commodity Credit Corporation Loans and Elections, Roger A. McEowen (Dec. 30, 2021).
- of Neb.-Lincoln Center for Agricultural Profitability, Finding a Trusted Tax Advisor, webinar (January 6, 2022, noon).
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania’s 2020 Chesapeake Bay Progress Report (Dec. 2021)
Media & Industry Resources
- Progressive Farmer, Top 10 Ag Stories of 2021: 10, Cybercriminals Take Aim at America’s Food Supply Victoria Myers (Dec. 20, 2021).
- Progressive Farmer, Farm Tax Experts Worry Alarming Tax Provisions Could Return to Build Back Better Act (Dec. 20, 2021).
- Progressive Farmer, Ag Policy Blog, Ag Climate Agenda Likely Stalled Over Build Back Better Fight, Chris Clayton (Dec. 20, 2021).
- Progressive Farmer, Ag Policy Blog, GAO: USDA Overpaid in Trade War for Certain Commodities and Regions of the Country, Jerry Hagstrom (Dec. 21, 2021).
- Progressive Farmer, Ag Awaits SCOTUS Decisions on Big Cases Todd Neeley (Dec. 29, 2021).
- Progressive Farmer, Top 10 Ag Stories of 2021: 2, New Administration Shifted Directions on Trade, Pesticides, RFS, Climate (Dec. 30, 2021).
- Bloomberg, Japanese Officials Beg Public to Drink More Milk as Glut Worsens (Dec.22, 2021).
- Lancaster Farming, New York Launches Solar Siting Working Group to Protect Farmland (Dec. 17, 2021).
- Progressive Dairy, Top Dairy Podcasts to Subscribe to Now (Dec. 21, 2021).
- Peterson Institute for International Economics, US-China phase one tracker: China’s purchases of US goods (Dec. 23, 2022).
Penn State News, Research & Resources
- Penn State Secures Funding to Continue Assisting Farmers with Disabilities (Dec. 13, 2021).
- Extension Offers Home-Study Course on Meat Goat Production (Dec. 17, 2021).
- Although Most Support Avian Conservation, Few Recognize Current Plight of Birds (Dec. 15, 2021).
- How a Cyanobacterium Makes Far-Red Light Mean ‘Go’ (Dec. 17, 2021).
- Northeast Beef x Dairy Survey – This survey gathers information about the use of beef semen by dairy producers in the Northeast United States to generate beef x dairy cattle. Results of the survey will be used to develop educational materials for producers. For questions contact the Center for Survey Research at Penn State Harrisburg, [email protected] or 717-948-6756, or Dr. Tara Felix, associate professor of animal science at Penn State, at [email protected] or 814-865-0065. Closes Jan. 7, 2022.
- The Economic Impact of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (Dec. 10, 2021).
Weekly Featured Graphics:
Modern Farmer, Will the New GMO Label Make a Difference? (Dec. 21, 2021).
“In 2016, Congress passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, which directed the USDA to establish a national standard for disclosing foods that are or may be bioengineered. Starting [January 1, 2022], mandatory compliance with the law will be enforced. That means every food that contains GMOs must prominently disclose it on the package. The law allows for up to five percent genetically-modified ingredients and applies to most food producers and importers in the US.”
For more resources, see USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s BE Disclosure webpages, including the official USDA List of Bioengineered Foods and Rulemaking Documents. The final USDA AMS regulations, titled National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, can be found at 83 FR 65814 or 7 CFR 66.
farmdocDAILY, Illinois Farm Economics Summit (IFES) 2021: Policy Update for 2022, (Dec. 31, 2021). National in scope. Recorded webinar and PowerPoint also available.
“Another major legislative agenda, the Build Back Better Act, would expand the social safety net and climate change policy. After trimming significantly to a $1.75 trillion package, the bill passed the House but has an uncertain future in the Senate. Some elements of the package would benefit agriculture, but taxation is also part of the deal. The bill proposes $27 billion for “climate smart agriculture” which would be the biggest investment in conservation since the Dust Bowl. A portion of that $27 billion would be used for new programs, including $5 billion for Soil Conservation Assistance, a program that would pay for establishment of cover crops for soil health. Producers would be eligible for $25 per acre and landowners who allow cover crops would be eligible for $5 per acre, but payable on up to $1,000 acres. In addition to new conservation initiatives, about $22 billion of the $27 billion would expand the reach of four existing conservation programs: Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and Regional Conservation Partnership Program. As shown in Figure 3, the additional funding beyond expected outlays for these program from 2022 through 2026 is significant. The taxation portion of the bill could result in higher taxes for some farmers (see farmdoc webinar, October 21, 2021).”
Agriculture-Related Legislative Hearings & Reports:
U.S. House Agric. Committee
- Rept. 117-203 – CATTLE CONTRACT LIBRARY ACT OF 2021(Report accompanying H.R. 5609’s report to full House; bill passed the House without amendment Dec. 8, 2021, referred to Senate Ag. Comm. Dec 9, 2021) (Dec. 7, 2021).
- Trade Policy and Priorities, videoand written testimony (recorded Nov. 17, 2021).
- A Look at the Renewable Economy in Rural America, videoand written testimony (recorded Nov. 16, 2021).
- The Immediate Challenges to our Nation’s Food Supply Chain,video and written testimony (recorded Nov. 3, 2021).
U.S. Senate Agric., Subcommittee on Nutrition, Agric. Res., and Specialty Crops
- The State of Nutrition in America 2021(recorded Nov. 2, 2021).
FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) PRESS RELEASES:
USDA AGENCY PRESS RELEASES:
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
USDA Announces Results of Cotton Research and Promotion Sign-Up (Dec. 21, 2021).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Confirmation of COVID-19 in a Canada Lynx at a Pennsylvania Zoo (Dec. 21, 2021).
Economic Research Service (ERS)
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
USDA Announces Fiscal Year 2022 Sugar Program Actions (Dec. 22, 2021).
USDA Announces No Actions Under Feedstock Flexibility Program (Dec. 23, 2021).
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
WIC Rises to the Challenge (Dec. 30, 2021).
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
Constituent Update (Dec. 23, 2021).
Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS)
Export Sales to Unknown Destinations [Corn] (Dec. 27, 2021).
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
Agricultural Statistics Board Briefing—Quarterly Hogs and Pigs (Dec. 23, 2021).
United States Hog Inventory Down 4% (Dec. 23, 2021).
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
NIFA Invests $6M for Pollinator Health Research (Dec. 22, 2021).
Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA Invests Nearly $5 Million in Wetland Mitigation Banks (Dec. 22, 2021).
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register Dec. 20–31, 2021 ):
Agricultural Marketing Service
86 FR 72148 Final Rule: “Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Increase the Threshold of the Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72145 Final Rule: “Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin; Changes to Reporting Requirements” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72203 Notice: “Determination for Conducting a Continuance Referendum Regarding Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72507 Final Rule: “Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Activity Changes” (Dec. 22, 2021).
86 FR 72779 Final Rule: “Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Change in Membership, Nomination Procedures, and Term of Office” (Dec. 23, 2021).
86 FR 73237 Notice—Comment Period: “Virtual Meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee” (Dec. 27, 2021).
86 FR 71866 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Farm Service Agency: Request for Geospatial Products and Services]” (Dec. 20, 2021).
86 FR 71866 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Food and Nutrition Service: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Emergency Allotments (COVID-19)]” (Dec. 20, 2021).
86 FR 72204 Notice: “Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, Specialty Crop Committee” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72917 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Agricultural Marketing Service: Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant]” (Dec. 23, 2021).
86 FR 73720 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: Specimen Submission]” (Dec. 28, 2021).
86 FR 73720 Notice; “Addition of the Dominican Republic to the List of Regions Affected With African Swine Fever” (Dec. 28, 2021).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
86 FR 73239 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Cooperative State-Federal Brucellosis Eradication Program” (Dec. 27, 2021).
86 FR 73238 Notice: “Classify Canada as Level I for Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis” (Dec. 27, 2021).
86 FR 73237 Notice—Comment Period: “Importation of Pummelo From Vietnam Into the United States” (Dec. 27, 2021).
Commodity Credit Corporation
86 FR 72574 Notice: “Domestic Sugar Program-2022-Crop Overall Sugar Marketing Allotment, Cane Sugar and Beet Sugar Marketing Allotments and Company Allocations” (Dec. 22, 2021).
Environmental Protection Agency
86 FR 71831 Interim Final Rule, comments accepted: “Pesticides; Certification of Pesticide Applicators; Extension to Expiration Date of Certification Plans” (Dec. 20, 2021).
86 FR 72190 Final Rule, comments accepted: “Spinetoram; Pesticide Tolerances” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72200 Proposed Ruled—Comment Period: “Receipt of Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities (December 2021)” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72436 Proposed Ruled—Comment Period: “Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: RFS Annual Rules” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72846 Final Rule—Comments Accepted: “Bicyclopyrone; Pesticide Tolerances” (Dec. 23, 2021).
86 FR 72964 Notice—Comment Period: “Pesticide Experimental Use Permit; Receipt of Application; Comment Request (December 2021)” (Dec. 23, 2021).
86 FR 72965 Notice—Comment Period: “Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses-December 2021” (Dec. 23, 2021).
86 FR 73759 Notice—Comment Period: “Proposed Renewal Information Collection Request; Comment Request; EPA Program Information on Source Water Protection” (Dec. 28, 2021).
86 FR 73756 Notice—Comment Period: “Announcing Upcoming Virtual Meeting on Biofuel Greenhouse Gas Modeling” (Dec. 28, 2021).
Federal Communications Commission
86 FR 72601 Notice: “Federal Advisory Committee Act; Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States” (Dec. 22, 2021).
Fish and Wildlife Service
86 FR 72394 Final Rule: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status with Section 4(d) Rule for Hermes Copper Butterfly and Designation of Critical Habitat” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72547 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl” (Dec. 22, 2021).
86 FR 73914 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog; Threatened Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Two Distinct Population Segments and Endangered Status for Two Distinct Population Segments” (Dec. 28, 2021).
86 FR 73796 Notice—Comment Period: “Permanente Site Operations and Maintenance, Santa Clara County, California; Draft Screening Form and Draft Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan” (Dec. 28, 2021).
Food Safety and Inspection Service
86 FR 71867 Notice: “National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection; Nominations for Membership” (Dec. 20, 2021).
86 FR 73721 Notice—Comment Period: “Eligibility of Lithuania to Export Egg Products to the United States” (Dec. 28, 2021).
86 FR 74063 Notice: “2022 Rate Changes for the Basetime, Overtime, Holiday, Laboratory Services, and Export Application Fees” (Dec. 29, 2021).
86 FR 73319 Notice: “United States v. B.S.A. S.A., LAG Holding, Inc., and The Kraft Heinz Company; Complaint, Proposed Final Judgment, and Competitive Impact Statement” (Dec. 27, 2021).
Minority Business Development Agency
86 FR 74403 Notice—Comment Period: “Rural Business Center Program” (Dec. 30, 2021).
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
86 FR 71868 Notice, comments accepted: “Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2022” (Dec. 20, 2021).
86 FR 72151 Final Rule: “Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) Program” (Dec. 21, 2021).
86 FR 72918 Notice: “Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Inviting Applications for the Intermediary Relending Program for Fiscal Year 2022” (Dec. 23, 2021).
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
86 FR 74210 Notice: “Grandfathering (GF) Registration Notice” (Dec. 29, 2021).
86 FR 74210 Notice: “Actions Taken at December 17, 2021 Meeting” (Dec. 29, 2021).
86 FR 74209 Notice: “Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water” (Dec. 29, 2021).
U.S. HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:
H.Res.271 “Recognizing the importance of the blueberry industry to the United States and supporting the designation of July 2021 as National Blueberry Month.” Placed on the House Calendar, Calendar No. 60 (Dec. 20, 2021).
H.R.6334 “SNAP Tribal Food Sovereignty Act of 2021.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (Dec. 20, 2021).
H.R.6337 “Biking on Long-Distance Trails Act.” Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Agriculture (Dec. 20, 2021).
H.R.6338 “SNAP PLUS Act of 2021.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (Dec. 20, 2021).
H.R.6336 “Western Wildfire Support Act of 2021.” Referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management (Dec. 21, 2021).
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY:
No new actions Dec. 20–31, 2021.
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRESS RELEASES:
Department of Agriculture
52 Pa.B. 20 Notice: “Continuation of the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program” (Jan. 1, 2022).
52 Pa.B. 20 Notice: “Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverage Industry Promotion Board; Grant Solicitation and Application Procedures for Act 39 of 2016 Funding” (Jan. 1, 2022).
52 Pa.B. 32 Notice: “Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board; Grant Solicitation and Application Procedures for Act 39 of 2016 Funding” (Jan. 1, 2022).
52 Pa.B. 42 Notice: “Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program 2021 Order, as Amended” (Jan. 1, 2022).
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
52 Pa.B. 45 “Wild Resource Conservation Program Public Hearing” (Jan. 1, 2022).
Department of Environmental Protection
51 Pa.B. 7990 Notice: “Applications for NPDES and WQM Permits Under the Clean Streams Law and Federal Clean Water Act” (Dec. 25, 2021).
52 Pa.B. 46 Notice: “Applications for NPDES and WQM Permits Under the Clean Streams Law and Federal Clean Water Act” (Jan. 1, 2022).
52 Pa.B. 96 Notice: “Stream Redesignation Evaluation of Angelica Creek and Saltlick Run; Water Quality Standards Review” (Jan. 1, 2022).
Environmental Quality Board
52 Pa.B. 138 Notice: “Meeting Cancellation [January 18, 2021]” (Jan. 1, 2022).
State Conservation Commission
51 Pa.B. 8067 Notice: “Action on Odor Management Plans for Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Volunteers Complying with the Commonwealth’s Facility Odor Management Program” (Dec. 25, 2021).
52 Pa.B. 147 Notice: “Access to Odor Management Plans for Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Volunteers Complying with the Commonwealth’s Facility Odor Management Program” (Jan. 1, 2022).
SB 208 “An Act amending . . . the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, in subdivision and land development, further providing for completion of improvements or guarantee thereof prerequisite to final plat approval [Clarifying Municipal Bonding Requirements for Property Improvements].” Signed by Governor, Act No. 97 (Dec. 22, 2021).
HB 2071 “An Act amending Title 64 (Public Authorities and Quasi-Public Corporations) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, establishing the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to provide broadband Internet access to unserved and underserved residents; and providing for powers and duties of the authority and for grant awards.” Signed by Governor, Act No. 96 (Dec. 22, 2021).
HB 2186 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in food protection, further providing for misbranding of food [Improving Food Safety by Labeling Pesticide Information].” Referred to AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS [House] (Dec. 22, 2021).
SB 968 “An Act providing for exemptions for employees from vaccination mandates related to COVID-19 and for fines.” Referred to LABOR AND INDUSTRY [Senate] (Dec. 21, 2021).
Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney