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Weekly News Roundup: November 6th Edition

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By Mayhah Suri

Bridge over the water at dusk (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Senate blocks Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) to revise WOTUS, but will debate its elimination

Senators on Tuesday voted narrowly to block a measure that would revise the Waters of the U.S. regulation, though the legislators voted to proceed on consideration of a resolution that would effectively eliminate the rule completely. After the bill was blocked, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, offered S.J. Res 22 to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. rule entirely. S.J. Res. 22 requires a simple majority to pass. Following the 57-41 vote on S.1140, sponsor Barrasso said while the bill fell short, Republicans will not stop to ensure the rule is withdrawn. To read the full story go here:

UMD Research Park wins AURP’s Outstanding Research Park award M Square, the University of Maryland Research Park, won this year’s Association of University Research Parks’ Outstanding Research Park award. M Square connects university researchers, students and others with private sector and federal labs. The park includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and this university’s and the Food and Drug Administration’s Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, according to its website. For the full story, please visit:

Will Winter Spreading Of Manure Be Prohibited?

Late last week, Maryland Ag Secretary Joe Bartenfelder reminded farmers that winter nutrient applications are prohibited from November 16 through February 28. That restriction covers application of chemical fertilizer and organic nutrients, not just manure or chicken litter. Bartenfelder noted that the blackout dates will change next year when Maryland’s updated nutrient management regulations phase in for this practice. For the full story visit

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Discussed Potential Trade Agreement At A Workshop In Washington County

An agricultural workshop hosted Monday by U.S. Rep. John Delaney and attended by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack provided an opportunity for local farmers to discuss their concerns with local, state and federal agencies. The workshop also provided an opportunity for Delaney and Vilsack to foster support for the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pending, and controversial, trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations, including the United States. To read the full story visit

High Court Won’t Hear Factory Farm Air Emissions Case

The Supreme Court declines to consider whether the EPA has a duty to update lists of pollution sources and criteria pollutants. Petitioners had sought regulation of emissions from industrial farming operations. The court denied a petition for certiorari in Zook v. EPA. Four Iowa residents who wanted the EPA to regulate emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations brought the case. The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to review whether the Clean Air Act allows for legal action over the EPA’s failure to revise its lists of regulated air pollutants and regulated sources. The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case means that an April ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to dismiss the litigation will stand.

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