Environmental Policy: Federal Agencies, USDA Publish 2024 Climate Adaptation Plans 🌾
On June 20, 2024, the White House announced the publication of updated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans, developed by twenty-four federal agencies. The agencies’ updated plans for 2024–2027 were developed in coordination with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2024–2027 Climate Adaptation Plan, also announced by the agency, USDA identifies numerous threats to agricultural productivity, water quality, lands, and infrastructure and outlines adaptation actions to address climate change nationwide. For background on the initial Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans, published in 2021, see ALWR—Oct. 8, 2021, “USDA Announces 2021 Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan.”  

Environmental Policy: European Union Adopts Nature Restoration Law
On June 17, 2024, the European Union Environmental Council adopted the Nature Restoration Law (2022/0195(COD)). According to the European Commission, “the law aims to restore ecosystems, habitats, and species across the EU’s land and sea areas in order to . . . enable the long-term and sustained recovery of biodiverse and resilient nature,” “contribute to achieving the EU’s climate mitigation and climate adaptation objectives,” and “meet international commitments.” The law sets “specific objectives to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, enhance ecosystem services and preserve habitats and landscapes.” Agriculture ecosystem objectives include “increasing grassland butterflies and farmland birds, the stock of organic carbon in cropland mineral soils, and the share of agricultural land with high-diversity landscape features,” and “restoring drained peatlands under agricultural use.” According to the law, EU member countries must submit National Restoration Plans to the EU Commission within two years after the Regulation becomes effective, or June 2026.  

National Agricultural Policy: Advocacy Groups Submit Petition Seeking Removal of USDA’s NEPA Categorical Exclusions
On June 20, 2024, the Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic at the Vermont Law and Graduate School, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and other advocacy groups, filed a petition for rulemaking with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting that the agency begin rulemaking procedures to rescind the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) categorical exclusions (CE) granted to the Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) in 1983 (7 CFR 1b.4(b)(6)), which exempt FSIS from NEPA’s Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement requirements. The petition states that “USDA has failed to issue a CE for any categories of actions in which FSIS engages, relying instead on its blanket CE across the entire agency” despite USDA’s alleged demonstrated “understanding of and ability to create CEs related to categories of actions” and claims that “FSIS activities go well beyond the enumerated list of categorically excluded activities” (emphasis in original). The petitioners argue that USDA erred in issuing the blanket CE “because there is no statutory or regulatory authority to exclude entire agencies from NEPA’s [Environmental Impact Statement] and [Environmental Assessment] requirements.”  

National Agricultural Policy: USDA Confirms Agricultural Foreign Investment Filing Inspections Only in Washington, D.C.
On June 1, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) sent a notice to state and county offices nationwide confirming that public inspection of Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) filings “may only occur at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C.” According to the notice, “hard copy AFIDA filings, including attached legal descriptions of business structure descriptions, cannot be viewed by the public in local FSA offices.” However, the notice states that portions of AFIDA documents may be requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Pesticides/Herbicides: EPA Publishes Interim Pesticide Registration Review Decisions
On June 24, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice (89 FR 5262) announcing the agency’s interim registration review decisions for five chemicals: Aluminium phosphide, magnesium phosphide, phosphine, tetrachlorvinphos and triadimefon. In EPA’s review decision for metal phosphides and phosphine, which are registered for use on fresh and dried foods, animal feed, and processed foods, EPA stated that “language describing the implementation of aeration buffer zones around phosphine application sites is necessary to mitigate potential exposure to non-occupational bystanders.” For tetrachlorvinphos, commonly used to control insects on livestock, EPA outlined several necessary mitigation measures including prohibiting down-the-drain disposal and increasing personal protective equipment requirements. For triadimefon, a broad-spectrum fungicide, EPA identified mitigation measures and label changes to reduce adverse effects on human health and the environment, including application rate reductions for various settings.



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Dairy Quarterly Legal Webinar Series. A free quarterly Zoom webinar series covering dairy industry legal and regulatory developments with an in-depth focus topic. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. All events on Tuesdays, noon–1 pm (ET). Upcoming:

“HPAI in Poultry and Cattle: How Can We Miss You if You Won’t Go Away?”

  • July 17, 2024, noon–1 pm (ET), online. Staff Attorney Brook Duer Presents with the National Agricultural Law Center.

Understanding Agricultural Law Series. A free monthly Zoom webinar series for agricultural and rural business advisors. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. All events on Fridays, noon–1 pm (ET). Upcoming:

2024 Pennsylvania Agricultural Law Symposium

  • Sept. 19, 2024, 8:30am–4:30pm, In-person at Penn State Law, Lewis Katz Building, University Park. Topics to include 2023-24 Ag Law Year in Review, Biosolids and Food Processing Waste Legal Issues, Agricultural Cooperatives, Carbon Credits and Contracts, Farm Labor Contractors and H-2A workers, and Farm Family Representation: Ethical Issues. Registration available soon!


Agricultural Law Podcast

USDA Takes First Regulatory Steps on Carbon Credit Production (May 14, 2024)

USDA Takes New Approach in HPAI Outbreak in Dairy Cattle (Apr. 26, 2024)

Farmland Legal Energy Podcast

Agrivoltaics & Large-Scale Solar Energy in Pennsylvania Update (May 15, 2024)

Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture (Apr. 29, 2024)

Resources of Interest:

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., State Labor Legislation: 2024 Update, Samantha Capaldo (June 20, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., Eleventh & Ninth Circuits Issue Decisions in Glyphosate Lawsuits, Brigit Rollins (June 18, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Animal Ag in the “Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024”, Elizabeth Rumley, Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr. (June 21, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Government Incentives for Agricultural Generational Transfer?, Natalie Graff, Texas A&M (June 20, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Incorporating Conservation Practices into Leases, Mykel R. Taylor, Auburn Univ. (June 19, 2024)

Ohio St. Univ. Ext. Farm Off. Blog, How Does Ohio’s Agricultural Exemption from Zoning Apply to a Composting Facility?,  Peggy Kirk Hall (June 20, 2024)

Tex. A&M Agric. Law Blog, Attorney General Opines TREC License Required to Negotiate Wind Leases, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet (June 17, 2024)

Agric. Law & Tax’n Blog, Rural Practice Digest—Substack, Roger A. McEowen (June 16, 2024)



EPA Publishes its 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan (June 20, 2024)

EPA Marks National Pollinator Week, Emphasizing Commitment to Protecting Pollinators (June 18, 2024)

EPA fines Newburyport, Mass. company for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (June 17, 2024)


USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for Arkansas Disaster Areas (June 21, 2024)

USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for Iowa Disaster Areas (June 21, 2024)

USDA Releases Updated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (June 20, 2024)

USDA Forest Service Seeks Public Comment on Draft Guidance for Old Growth Management on National Forests (June 20, 2024)


Agricultural Marketing Service

USDA Issues a Packers and Stockyard Complaint against Alwatania Meat Corp. (June 20, 2024)

USDA Settles a Packers and Stockyards Case with Bill Chase and Happy Valley Livestock LLC (June 20, 2024)

USDA Lifts PACA Reparation Sanctions on Georgia Produce Business (June 20, 2024)

USDA Cites Frozen Food Development Inc. in Pennsylvania for PACA Violations (June 20, 2024)

Agricultural Research Service

Pearl Millet Wins Approval From Honey Bees and Other Pollinators (June 18, 2024)

The Right-Size Nest Can Maximize Pollination Capabilities of Solitary Bees (June 17, 2024)

Economic Research Service

Debt Use by U.S. Farm Businesses, 2012–2021 (June 2024)

Food and Nutrition Service

More Steps Toward a Modern WIC Program (June 18, 2024)

New Program Participation Dashboard Goes Live (June 17, 2024)

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Constituent Update—June 21, 2024 (June 21, 2024)

Foreign Agricultural Service

Under Secretary Taylor Launches First USDA Trade Mission Dedicated to Indigenous Products (June 17, 2024)

National Agricultural Statistics Service

USDA Moves to Gain Better Understanding of Forest and Grazing Conservation Practices (June 20, 2024)

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

NIFA Invests $5.3M to Spur Small Business-Led Innovation (June 20, 2024)

NIFA Invests $11.4M in Animal Nutrition and Growth (June 20, 2024)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS Adopts the Reclamation Odessa Subarea Special Study Final Environmental Impact Statement (June 20, 2024)

USDA Offers Resources to Support Pollinators through Voluntary Conservation (June 17, 2024)

USDA Commits Funding for Partnerships to Restore Wetland Ecosystems and Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change (June 17, 2024)

Rural Development

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $25 Million to Help Expand High-Speed Internet Access in Rural Areas (June 21, 2024)

Biden-Harris Administration Partners with Electric Cooperatives to Bring Affordable Clean Energy to Rural Coloradans as Part of Investing in America Agenda (June 17, 2024)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register June 10–14, 2024):   

Agriculture Department

89 FR 51300 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Food and Nutrition Service: WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Forms and Regulations]” (June 17, 2024)

Agricultural Marketing Service

89 FR 51850 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Section 8e Import Inspection Fee Structure” (June 20, 2024)

89 FR 51277 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Soybean Promotion and Research: Adjustments to Representation on the United Soybean Board” (June 17, 2024)

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

89 FR 51301 Notice—Comment Period: “Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records” (June 17, 2024)

89 FR 51300 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection; APHIS National Incident Management System (NIMS) Training and Exercise Program”

Environmental Protection Agency

89 FR 52039 Notice: “Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability” (June 21, 2024)

89 FR 51978 Rule: “Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), Polymer . . . in Pesticide Formulations; Tolerance Exemption” (June 21, 2024)

89 FR 51843 Rule: “Afidopyropen; Pesticide Tolerance for Emergency Exemption” (June 20, 2024)

89 FR 51883 Notice: “Clean Water Act Section 303(d): Availability of List Decisions” (June 20, 2024)

89 FR 51523 Notice—Comment Period: “Helicoverpa zea nudivirus 2 strain 90DR71; Receipt of Application for Emergency Exemption, Solicitation of Public Comment” (June 18, 2024)

89 FR 51520 Notice: “Pesticide Emergency Exemptions; Agency Decisions and State and Federal Agency Crisis Declarations” (June 18, 2024)

89 FR 51521 Notice: “Chlorpyrifos; Amendment to Existing Stocks Provisions in Winfield and Liberty Product Cancellation Orders” (June 18, 2024)

Food Safety and Inspection Service

89 FR 52010 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Request to Renew an Approved Information Collection: Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation Survey for FSIS Public Health Partners” (June 21, 2024)

89 FR 51870 Notice: “National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection; Charter Renewal” (June 20, 2024)

Foreign Agricultural Service

89 FR 51871 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection [USDA Trade Missions and Trade Shows]” (June 20, 2024)

National Resource Conservation Service

89 FR 51493 Notice: “Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee Meeting” (June 18, 2024)

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

89 FR 51494 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection [Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program]” (June 18, 2024)

Rural Utilities Service

89 FR 52012 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Broadband Technical Assistance Program for Fiscal Year 2024” (June 21, 2024)


H.R.8811 “To reauthorize the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, and Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (June 21, 2024)

H.R.8802 “To require the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to carry out a joint study of the impact of certain proposed rules on trading and capital markets activities, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (June 21, 2024)


S.4628 “A bill to improve wildfire mitigation, management, and recovery, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (June 20, 2024)

S.J.Res.98 “A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Agriculture relating to “Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison”.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (June 18, 2024)

S.4562 “A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prohibit the practice of feeding excrement to farm animals, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (June 17, 2024)

Agriculture-Related Legislative Hearings & Reports

No Upcoming Hearings or Reports


Agriculture Secretary Visits Chester County’s Jenkins Arboretum, Highlighting Bill To Protect Pollinators, Boost Agriculture (June 20, 2024)

PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 54, No. 25—June 22, 2024): 

Department of Environmental Protection

54 Pa.B. 3528 Application: “Applications for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits and Water Quality Management (WQM) Permits Under the Clean Streams Law and Federal Clean Water Act”

Fish and Boat Commission

54 Pa.B. 3523 Proposed Amendment: “Fishing; Special Fishing Regulations”


SB 1269 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, establishing the Agriculture Innovation Grant Program and the Agriculture Innovation Board.” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs (June 21, 2024)

HB 2441 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in food protection, further providing for definitions and for prohibited acts.” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs (June 21, 2024)

SB 1264 “An Act prohibiting solar radiation modification, cloud seeding and polluting atmospheric activity within this Commonwealth; imposing duties on the Pennsylvania State Police and sheriffs; and imposing penalties.” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs (June 20, 2024)

HB 2357 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, establishing the Pennsylvania Food Bucks Program and the Pennsylvania Food Bucks Program Account; and making an appropriation.” Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs (June 18, 2024)


Victoria Dutterer—Research Assistant
Samuel Sweeten—Research Assistant
Audry Thompson—Staff Attorney