Hope everyone had a good week. Here are some stories and upcoming events that we thought might be of interest.Read More
In Maryland, the general rule for liability related to surface water runoff is referred to as the civil rule which states the higher elevation land owner has the right to have his or her surface water flow naturally over the lands of a lower elevation landowner and the lower elevation owner has no right to prevent the flow. This means that lower elevation landowners cannot install berms or other features to prevent the natural flow of water over their property. Yet the civil rule also states that while higher elevation landowners have the right to have surface water flow over their properties onto lower properties, these landowners are not permitted to increase either the amount or volume of water flowing onto lower lands.Read More
This press release can also be found on the AREC website.
College Park, MD - Specialists in the field of agricultural law and water from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will play key roles in a new multidisciplinary effort to develop innovative, safe and sustainable ways to irrigate food crops in variable climates. The “CONSERVE” Center of Excellence, established with a $10 million, four-year award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be led by Amy Sapkota from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.Read More
On January 13, 2016 the U.S. House of Representatives voted 253-166 to approve (S.J. Res. 22) a joint Congressional “resolution of disapproval” for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. Under the Congressional Review Act, the House and Senate can pass a resolution of disapproval to stop regulations they feel overstepped the agency’s authority. The Resolution vacates the WOTUS rule published on June 29, 2015, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which would redefine “waters of the United States.” This rule significantly expands the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Resolution would vacate the rule and prohibit the issuance of any new rule substantially similar to the WOTUS rule.Read More
Happy December, everyone. Here's our weekly roundup of news and events.Read More
Originally published in the May 26th Edition of the Delmarva Farmer.
On May 11, 2015, George DeRuyter & Son Dairy, LLC; Henry Bosma Dairy; and Cow Palace Dairy, LLC entered into consent agreements with a number of environmental groups in order to continue operating as long as the conditions outlined in the agreements are met. These consent agreements are a result of a Federal district court decision in Washington state finding that manure from dairy farms could be considered “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).Read More
Today I will be continuing the discussion on water permits. Another important wetlands permit is the United States Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters, including wetlands such as those found in Maryland. Activities that are regulated under the program, that require a permit, include fill for development, water resource projects (such as dams and levees), infrastructure development (such as highways and airports) and mining projects. Fortunately, certain farming and forestry activities are exempt from Section 404 regulation and do not require a permit.Read More
If your farm is located in an area near the Chesapeake Bay, the tidal tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, or the 3-mile area seaward of the low water mark of Maryland’s Atlantic coast, you may be a candidate required to obtain a Tidal Wetlands License or Permit. In short, if the tide rises and falls near the area you plan to conduct activities or a project you will likely have to apply for a permit or license. An application for a permit or license is required to show how you will first avoid and then minimize the loss of tidal wetlands.Read More