Minnesota Agency Should Have Taken into Account Climate Change Impact Before Allowing Dairy to Expand

Minnesota Farm by Derek Bakken

The article is not a substitute for legal advice.

Recently the Court of Appeals of Minnesota partially reversed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) determination that an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a proposed dairy expansion was not needed. During the public comment period, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) raised concerns that the MPCA had not addressed climate change and the greenhouse gas emissions from the expansion, and the MPCA should develop an EIS to approve the expansion. The court of appeals agreed with the MCEA, and now the MPCA will need to conduct an additional environmental review before approving the expansion and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES) modifications. This ruling has raised a concern that other states may see similar challenges.

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Ag Law in Review: 2016 Edition

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Photo by Sarah Swenty, USFWS

This post is not legal advice.

Although we have started 2017 off, I want to take a look back at some of the big legal developments in the area of agricultural law. We saw a few important developments in 2016 in the field and will probably see more in 2017 with a change in presidential administrations. Keep reading here, and this site will work to keep you updated on those recent developments in 2017. Continue reading

Freedom of Information Act Exemption Does Not Allow EPA to Release Aggregated CAFO Information

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Photo by Jon Moyle

This post is not legal advice

In 2015, I wrote on a decision from the U.S. District Court of Minnesota claiming that American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) did not have “standing.”  The ag groups were trying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from releasing certain information (to read that earlier post, click here).  Recently, on appeal, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed this decision finding the groups did have standing and information released by EPA was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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