The Clean Water Act, EPA Regulation, and the Future of Farming
Provided with generous support from Banks Law Firm, PLLC
The federal government has long played a significant role in the agricultural sector. And, in recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency has played an increasingly significant role in agriculture, particularly under the regulation of water quality under the Clean Water Act. The current and future role of EPA regulation is extremely significant to the agricultural sector. It is imperative that producers, landowners, and others have a basic understanding of the role that EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has in the future of American agriculture and especially throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin. This webinar will provide that understanding with a focus on the recent lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the EPA.
This free webinar is part of a series of educational webinars provided by the National Agricultural Law Center with generous support from the Banks Law Firm, PLLC. The gift was given in order to provide a legal education series focused on southern agricultural producers and to help publicize the 25th Anniversary of the National Agricultural Law Center, the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. For more information about the gift and the educational series, click here and here.
On March 13, 2012, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the EPA seeking to force EPA to establish numeric standards for at least 31 states in the Mississippi River Basin. That case, Gulf Restoration Network, et. al., Case No. 12-cv-677, filed in federal district court in Louisiana could have very significant impacts on farming in the southern United States and throughout the Mississippi River Basin. The outcome of the case will be very significant for farmers, municipalities, fertilizer companies, and others operating throughout the Mississippi River Basin.
The lawsuit could ultimately impact the use of fertilizer and other farming practices used in the targeted areas, and has drawn significant opposition from agricultural groups. For example, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Mississippi Farm Bureau, the National Pork Producers Council, along with nearly a dozen other state Farm Bureau organizations, and many other national and regional agricultural organizations, filed a motion to intervene and defeat the lawsuit filed by environmental groups against EPA.
The lawsuit follows a similar legal action brought in Florida that resulted in EPA moving forward with the establishment of numeric nutrient criteria in that state, which has also been opposed by many in the agricultural community. Similar to the current legal action, the Florida lawsuit has drawn criticism and concern from many in the agricultural community.
This free webinar is designed for anyone - producers, landowners, extension personnel, and others - interested in updated information on the Clean Water Act and discussion of the possible pending regulatory and litigious changes. If interested, please help publicize this webinar to your networks via listserves, twitter, Facebook, or other avenues.
Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Time: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (EDT) / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CDT)
Cost: Free of Charge
To participate in the webinar:
Participating in the webinar is very easy, even if this is the first webinar in which you have participated. At 12 EDT, simply click here: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/aglaw and sign in as a guest. Before viewing the webinar, please visit the following URL to confirm your ability to connect to the server: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/testconnect/.
Harrison Pittman, Director of the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The Center is the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information, serving the nation's agricultural community consisting of producers, attorneys, state and federal policy makers, extension personnel, and others throughout the United States.
Mr. Pittman has an extensive background in agricultural and food law and has served in multiple capacities at the Center since 2001. He received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, after attending Mississippi State University and graduating the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He earned an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law's Graduate Program in Agricultural Law. Mr. Pittman teaches Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Introduction to Agricultural Law in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. He is an active member of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA), and was the first recipient of the AALA's Excellence in Agricultural Law award in 2010. Mr. Pittman has taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law as part of the Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professorship for Agricultural Law.
Grant Ballard, Research Consultant to the National Agricultural Law Center, primarily working with federal crop insurance, farm bill issues, and other issues relative to agricultural producers. Mr. Ballard is a practicing agricultural attorney and an associate with the Banks Law Firm PLLC, in Little Rock, Arkansas, a firm that represents agricultural producers. Mr. Ballard focuses a portion of his agricultural law practice on the representation of farmers in regard to crop insurance disputes and has written on crop insurance litigation in the past. Mr. Ballard assists in Center research and information activities, including publishing factsheets and other articles such as Prevented Planting Crop Insurance: Overview, Drought, and Excessive Moisture, Filing a Crop Insurance Claim: An Overview for Producers and The Federal Crop Insurance Program: Administration, Structure, and Operation. His Practitioner's Guide to the Litigation of Federally Reinsured Crop Insurance Claims is scheduled to be published in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law in the fall of 2012. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law and recently completed his LL.M., in Agricultural Law. In his private practice, Mr. Ballard will give legal counsel to agricultural producers in a variety of areas including: crop insurance, commercial agricultural disputes, and issues involving the United States Department of Agriculture farm programs as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions.