Maryland Court of Special Appeals Overturns Lower Court, Finding Pesticide Ordinance Is Not Preempted by State Law

Sprayer in field. Image by United Soybean Board

This is not a substitute for legal advice.

            In 2015, the Montgomery County Council passed a bill prohibiting the use of certain pesticides on private and county-owned properties.  The law limited the use of pesticides registered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), allowing pesticides listed by the county for non-essential cosmetic purposes, and exempting agricultural applications.  In 2017, the Montgomery County circuit court found that Maryland state law preempted the ordinance; click here to see my overview of this ruling.  The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently issued an opinion overruling the circuit court.  The Court of Special Appeals found that federal and state laws in Montgomery County v. Complete Lawn Care, Inc. do not preempt the ordinance.

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Challenge Brought Against Decision to Approve Loan Guarantee for Maryland Poultry Farm

 

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Image of poultry farm by Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center

 

This is not a substitute for legal advice.

Many of you may have seen the news that Food and Water Watch (FWW) was challenging the decision of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in approving an application for a loan guarantee for a poultry operation on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. FWW is challenging the FSA’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) as apart of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FWW is looking to have the decision set aside the decision to grant the loan guarantee causing FSA to start the environmental review again. At this point, the case is just the initial stages with just the complaint file by FWW. This case will be playing out over the next few months. Continue reading

Arkansas Producers File Class Action Lawsuit Related to Dicamba Drift Damage

 

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Sprayer in field by the United Soybean Board.

2016 and 2017 have seen large numbers of complaints filed of drift damage in the Midwest and South. The drift damage is due to dicamba application on new Monsanto varieties of cotton and soybeans that allow for over-the-top applications of dicamba. I’ve written earlier about a dicamba drift class action lawsuit filed in Missouri, but a recently filed one in the Eastern Federal District of Missouri. The new class action is being brought by a group of Arkansas farmers who planted older varieties of soybean and cotton that was not resistant to dicamba. Continue reading

Maryland’s Dormant Mineral Interest Law Not Unconstitutional

 

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Image via wikicommons by Ruhrfisch

 

This is not a substitute for legal advice. 

In 2010, the Maryland General Assembly passed the “Dormant Mineral Interests Act” that allows a surface estate owner of real property subject to an unused mineral interest to terminate the unused mineral interest. Recently, two different surface owners of real property with unused mineral interest followed the proper process to terminate the unused mineral interests. In both cases, the mineral interest owners claimed the law was unconstitutional by taking their property without just compensation. In both cases, Maryland courts have upheld the Dormant Mineral Interests Act (Act) as constitutional and not an unconstitutional taking of private property. Continue reading

Pesticide Drift Leads To Class Action Lawsuit

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This post is not legal advice. 

Pesticide drift is a concern of many agricultural producers. This summer producers in the South and Midwest experienced damage to crops due to pesticide drift. Producers adopting new technology from Monsanto caused the pesticide drift. This new technology was Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton. 2 Xtend products are resistant to dicamba, but not the types of dicamba on the market when Monsanto began marketing Xtend soybeans and cotton. The type of dicamba for Xtend, VaporGrip, is designed to be lower volatility that minimizes drift but was not approved by the EPA till November 2016. Hundreds of producers filed complaints after detecting crop damage due to pesticide drift this past year. Recently, a group of producers in Missouri has filed a class action lawsuit in Missouri against Monsanto seeking more than $5,000,000 in damages due to drift for producers in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Continue reading