Farms.com discussed an FDA report on antibiotic use in farm animals.

Just-Food reported on an initiative by Nestle in the UK and Ireland to reduce food waste.

Business Insider reported on food and beverage companies use of Tesla electric trucks for delivery.

The Kansas City Business Journal discussed status of new Tyson plant location.

USAgNet discussed efforts in New York to assist farmers in reducing their climate change impact.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a California Supreme Court decision in farm labor case.

USAgNet discussed the potential impact of tax changes on farmers.

Marketplace discussed the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Florida citrus industry.

USAGNet reported on USDA grants to support rural veterinary services.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on AB Inbev planned experiments on the International Space Station.

 

We previously discussed the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, 853 F.3d, to strike down EPA’s regulation that exempted farms from air pollution reporting requirements for releases of hazardous substances from animal wastes. In October 2017, EPA petitioned the D.C. Circuit to stay the mandate in that case. On November 22, the D.C. Circuit granted EPA’s motion to stay the mandate until January 22, 2018.

The stay gives farmers an additional two months before they have to start reporting. It also provides an opportunity for farmers to familiarize themselves with EPA’s new guidance which helps farmers calculate emissions from beef, dairy, equine, swine and poultry operations.

 

Reuters reported on the status of U.S. farm antibiotic use policy.

CNN reported on a London brewery making beer from unwanted bread.

USAgNet discussed a mobile chicken processing plant.

Food Business News reported on Tyson acquisition of Original Philly Holdings.

Food Navigator discussed the organic industry response to USDA delay of animal welfare rules.

 

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) filed a motion in the D.C. Circuit asking the court to delay the reporting requirement until 2018. Unless the motion is granted, farms with reportable releases of hazardous substances from animal waste must begin reporting those releases next Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

On November 9, the National Pork Producers Council and the United States Poultry and Egg Association filed a motion in support of EPA’s request to postpone the reporting requirement. According to the motion, the additional time is needed for three reasons: (1) the new emissions estimation and reporting requirements are causing farmers confusion and concern; (2) the National Response Center is not yet equipped to handle the thousands of telephone reports from farmers reporting ammonia emissions; and (3) EPA needs additional time to finalize its emissions calculation and reporting guidance.

The same day, Waterkeeper Alliance filed a motion in opposition on the grounds that EPA has already issued sufficient guidance for farmers to comply with the emissions reporting requirements. Waterkeeper Alliance also asked the D.C. Circuit to clearly state in the mandate that it’s April 2017 Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA opinion does not permit the EPCRA interpretation EPA announced in its interim guidance.  Finally, Waterkeeper Alliance asked the D.C. Circuit to retain jurisdiction over the matter for three years to ensure that EPA implements and enforces the reporting mandate.

Food Dive discussed FSMA produce rule.

Food Dive reported on a Conagra and Taco Bell sunflower seed partnership.

Utility Products discussed new appointments to EPA science advisory boards.

Farm Business discussed efforts by UK researchers to grow new strains of grass to boost farm efficiency.

Fortune reported on WHO statements on antibiotic use in healthy animals.

 

On Monday October 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) filed a motion Monday in the D.C. Circuit asking the court to delay the reporting requirement until January 18, 2018. Unless the motion is granted, owners or operators of farms with reportable releases of hazardous substances from animal waste must begin reporting those releases on November 15, 2017.

Since April, EPA has been developing guidance to help farms come into compliance with requirements to report certain releases of hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”).

With regard to CERCLA reporting, last week, EPA released a preliminary guidance and solicited public input. You can read our analysis of the preliminary guidance here. In the motion to delay the reporting requirement, EPA requests additional time to finalize its guidance and incorporate feedback received. EPA is also developing a streamlined continuous release reporting form designed specifically for farms.

With respect to EPCRA reporting, EPA issued a preliminary interpretation of EPCRA provisions as excluding farms that use substances in routine agricultural operation from EPCRA reporting requirements. Under the statute, only facilities where “hazardous chemicals” are “produced, used, or stored” are required to report. Excluded from the definition of “hazardous chemical” is “any substance to the extent it is used in routine agricultural operations.” In its preliminary interpretation, the EPA states that “the feeding and breeding of animals, as well as the expected handling and storage of the animals’ waste, would…be considered a routine agricultural operation,” exempt from EPCRA’s reporting requirements. EPA plans to initiate a rulemaking formalizing this interpretation within the next two months.

Our environmental attorneys can help potentially affected farm owners and operators understand and meet these release reporting requirements. For more information on how these regulations may impact your operation, please contact Robert Wilkinson or Megan McLean of Husch Blackwell’s Environmental team.

“Real food that matters for life’s moments.”  That’s Campbell’s stated purpose, and it’s commitment to increasing shelf space for plant-based options was further evidenced by its decision to join the Plant Based Food Association (PBFA) on October 30. The press release may be read here.

Campbell may be the first major food company to join PBFA, but we expect others to follow. The plant based food sector has grown by 8.1% this past year while total food sales within the same channels have experienced a slight decline, according to Nielsen (the retail research company).

Will Kellogg’s be next given its offerings under the MorningStar Farms® and Gardenburger® brands? It recognizes on its website that plant-based proteins are “more than just a fad” and “are fast becoming a larger part of everyday meal choices.” Tyson, General Mills and Danone are also each invested in the future of plant-based proteins (Beyond Meat, Kite Hill, and DanoneWave, respectively).

Even if membership in PBFA isn’t on the horizon for other majors, their continued investment in and develop of plant-based food products will undoubtedly continue – at least for so long as consumers increase their daily intake of such products.

Joe Thompson is a partner at Husch Blackwell and is a member of the Food & Agribusiness group.