The Latest

Events

  1. Illinois: Crop Management Conferences, Jan. 20 – Feb. 10

    January 20 @ 8:00 am - February 10 @ 8:00 am
  2. Texas: Wild Pig Management Workshop, Luling, Feb. 9

    February 9 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  3. Ohio: Corn College Workshop, Greenville, Feb. 10

    February 10 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Arkansas State Agribusiness Conference, Jonesboro, Feb. 10

    February 10 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  5. Texas: Feed-Grain Marketing Workshop, Amarillo, Feb. 10-11

    February 10 @ 8:00 am - March 11 @ 5:00 pm
  6. West Florida Crops Meeting, Jay, February 11

    February 11 @ 7:45 am - 12:00 pm
  7. Georgia: Ag Business Planning Workshop, Glennville, Feb. 11, 18

    February 11 @ 8:00 am - February 18 @ 5:00 pm
  8. Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show, Dothan, February 11

    February 11 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  9. Four States Agricultural Exposition, Texarkana, Feb. 11

    February 11 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  10. Ohio: Agronomy Workshops, Wooster, Feb. 15, 16

    February 15 @ 8:00 am - February 16 @ 8:00 am
  11. Louisiana: Irrigation Management Workshop, Marksville, Feb. 16-17

    February 16 @ 8:00 am - February 17 @ 8:00 am
  12. Tennessee: Irrigation Meeting, Somerville, Feb. 16

    February 16 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  13. Tennessee: Cotton Focus Meeting, Jackson, Feb. 18

    February 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  14. Illinois: Ag Tech Innovation Summit, Champaign, Feb. 18

    February 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  15. Texas: Oil, Gas Leasing Workshop, College Station, Feb. 22

    February 22 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  16. Texas: Wild Pig Management Workshop, Burnet, Feb. 24

    February 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  17. Virginia: USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum, Arlington, Feb. 25-26

    February 25 @ 8:00 am - February 26 @ 5:00 pm
  18. Georgia: Pest Manager Training, Forsyth, Feb. 25

    February 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  19. Tennessee: Winter Row Crop Marketing Meeting, Mason, Feb. 25

    February 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  20. Texas: Rice Technical Working Group, Galveston, March 1-4

    March 1 @ 8:00 am - March 4 @ 8:00 am
  21. Indiana Small Farm Conference, Danville, March 4-5

    March 4 @ 8:00 am - March 5 @ 5:00 pm
  22. Kansas: 103rd Annual Cattlemen’s Day, Manhattan, March 4

    March 4 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  23. Kentucky: Integrated Pest Management Training, Princeton, March 2

    March 6 @ 8:00 am
  24. Oklahoma: Irrigation Conference, Woodward, March 8

    March 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  25. Oklahoma: Pecan Management Course, Stillwater, March 8

    March 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  26. Missouri: Free Pesticide Collection Event, Portageville, March 12

    March 12 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  27. Florida: Carinata Summit, Quincy, March 15-16

    March 15 @ 8:00 am - March 16 @ 5:00 pm

 

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Key Court Decisions Could Impact Water Regulations in Mississippi River Basin

Ernst Undesser
By Steve Hensley, USA Rice Federation September 26, 2013

Key Court Decisions Could Impact Water Regulations in Mississippi River Basin

This week in the lawsuit American Farm Bureau Federation, et al., v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, rejecting agriculture’s concerns over errors in the modeling and EPA overstepping the boundaries of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Judge Rambo called EPA’s actions “cooperative federalism” and said it was envisioned by “an all-encompassing” and “comprehensive” CWA.

        
         

Historically, setting Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) has been the province of the states.  EPA has limited authority to establish TMDLs in a state; however, no court has ever held that EPA has the authority to also allocate the total load to sources throughout an entire watershed.

Now the court has stated that for water bodies that overlap state boundaries, there is nothing in the CWA that prohibits EPA from setting the total and issuing pollutant allocations not only to the tidal states but to all upstream states as well.  Judge Rambo found that EPA has the authority to do so since, among other things, the CWA does not expressly forbid it from doing so.  Judge Rambo also found precedent in a water permitting case between Arkansas and Oklahoma and stated that it supported “the proposition that EPA has authority to regulate upstream pollution sources in order to achieve downstream water quality standards.”

She also opened the door for allowing EPA, or even a state such as Louisiana, to establish a TMDL and assign allocations to sources of pollution for the 31 upstream states in the Mississippi River Basin.  This case is likely to be appealed.

In a separate ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey in New Orleans gave the EPA six months to decide whether to set CWA standards for nitrogen and phosphorous in all U.S. waterways or explain why they are not needed.  This ruling could move environmental groups closer to their goal of creating federal standards to regulate farmland runoff.

Ernst Undesser
By Steve Hensley, USA Rice Federation September 26, 2013