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Weekly Round Up March 30th

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

By Sarah Fielder

The photo shows two hands holding tomatoes. Image taken by Edwin Remsberg.

Dairy Does Not Infringe on Freedom of Religion The Indiana Court of Appeals recently heard an interesting challenge to a dairy’s plans for expansion, does the dairy’s proposed expansion infringe on a church’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion. The court rejected this argument and others claiming violations of local zoning ordinances. To read more about this case, click here

Senate Bill Introduced to Remove Hemp from Listing as a Controlled Substance This week Mitch McConnell introduced legislation that would remove hemp from the listing as a controlled substance. The Hemp Farming Act would move forward to allow producers to grow hemp as an agricultural product. Legislation was introduced in the House last year, but has not passed the House at this time. The 2014 farm bill allowed limited hemp production as a part of a research program. To learn more about the law click here,, and to read the law, click here

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 Contains Ag Legislation The legislation signed by President Trump last week to fund the government through the end of September 2018 contained a few items of interest to agriculture. One was a fix to the Section 199A deductions that had been in last year’s tax bill and created tax benefits for producers who marketed grains through cooperatives. The bill returns 199A to the status quo before the passing of last year’s tax bill. A fix for CERCLA was included exempting agriculture from reporting requirements. Delays to the ELD rules till the end of September 2018 for agriculture. A county-level FSA program will be established to ensure that ARC-County payments to fix problems that had arisen with neighboring counties not qualifying for payments. Finally, the legislation increases funding for ag-related research administered by USDA. To learn more about the changes, click here

Federal Budget Bill Includes Farm Exemption from CERCLA Part of the newly signed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 exempts farms from reporting requirements scheduled to go into effect in May 2018. It restores the CERCLA reporting requirements to where they have been since 2008, and it does not change reporting requirements under a different federal law (the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, or EPCRA) that requires emissions reporting to state and local emergency response agencies. Learn more here:

Fear of Invasion by Lanternflies kills Maryland bill to Ban a Pesticide Fearful that President Donald Trump’s environmental regulators weren’t taking action against a harmful pesticide, Maryland lawmakers vowed to step in this year by proposing a state ban on the chemical. But then along came the spotted lanternfly — that terrifying invasive species that sucks the sap from plants and quickly sucked the political will for banning the pesticide, chlorpyrifos. To read more about this issue, click here:

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