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New Iowa Law Makes Keeping Farm Together Easier

DTN | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

No family wants to end up in court arguing over how inherited farmland will be divided. It's even more discouraging when one owner wants to keep the land, but the court orders all the owners to sell. Iowa just passed a law in 2018 that allows a way to equalize the property without a sale. The result: Person(s) wanting to sell can get cash out, while owner(s) preferring to keep the family farm are not forced to sell.


FDA expands Third-Party Certification program

Daily Intake Blog | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Federal, Food News

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) established the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program, which is a voluntary program that allows “accreditation bodies” to apply for recognition by FDA. Recognized accreditation bodies have the authority to accredit third-party “certification bodies,” otherwise known as third-party auditors. In turn, the certification bodies (1) conduct consultative and/or regulatory food safety audits and (2) issue certifications to eligible entities that produce food for humans and animals.


From Hawaii to Vermont, States Tackle Efficiency Standards

National Research Defense Council | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Federal News

With the Trump administration slowing progress on energy-saving efficiency standards for appliances, equipment, and electronics that save Americans billions of dollars, states are stepping in to try to fill the gap. So far this year, five states have introduced efficiency standards bills and one—Vermont—passed the bill into law. Vermont joins California as a leadership state with a comprehensive suite of state-level energy efficiency standards.


Illinois community solar garden sprouts sun-tracking “smartflower”

Energy News Network | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Energy News

One of the first community solar systems in Illinois won’t be a run-of-the-mill array of PV panels. The Renaissance Collaborative (TRC), an affordable housing complex on Chicago’s South Side, is the site of a dense new solar array that will fan out in the shape of a flower to maximize generation.Known as a “smartflower,” the system is designed to open in the morning and generate power as it mechanically tracks the sun throughout the day. The compact design makes it ideal for a dense city neighborhood, in this case, in a vegetable garden behind TRC’s building.


Exxon reasserts its methane position as EPA preps rollback

Axios | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Energy News

ExxonMobil is reasserting its self-imposed commitment to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s the primary component of natural gas, as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to repeal regulations. Why it matters: The comments, posted Tuesday by the CEO of XTO Energy, an Exxon subsidiary with large U.S. natural-gas operations, illustrate an awkward predicament facing industry under President Trump.


Minnesota Department Of Commerce Says Enbridge Insurance Coverage Is Lacking

Wisconsin Public Radio | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says energy firm Enbridge does not have adequate insurance to protect the public from damages related to crude oil spills. Some critics, including one Wisconsin environmental group, argue that puts taxpayers on the hook to pay for cleanup of any accidents on the company’s pipelines. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is reviewing Enbridge’s policies to make sure the company is meeting conditions for building its $2.9 billion Line 3 replacement project that runs through Minnesota to the company’s terminal in Superior.


Dire Climate Change Warnings Cut From Trump Power-Plant Proposal

Bloomberg | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Energy News

Warnings about potentially severe consequences of climate change were deleted from a Trump administration plan to weaken curbs on power plant emissions during a White House review. Drafts had devoted more than 500 words to highlighting the impacts -- more heat waves, intense hurricanes, heavy rainfalls, floods and water pollution -- as part of the proposal to replace Obama-era restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.


Georgia's Lt Governor Candidate raises rural hospitals as campaign issue

Daily Yonder | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia, Sarah Riggs Amico, has raised rural hospital closures as a campaign issue.  “There are 60 counties in Georgia without a pediatrician, half of our counties don’t have an OB/GYN, & rural hospitals are closing,” she stated in an Aug. 20 tweet.


Tennessee Senate candidates spar over broadband

The Tennessean | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in News

The Tennessee Valley Authority helped deliver electricity to large parts of the Southeast United States starting in the 1930s. Could it also be part of moving rural Tennessee into the internet age?  Phil Bredesen, former governor of Tennessee and now Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, says TVA could do just that. TVA, which was one of FDR’s first New Deal programs, generates electricity and transmits the power wholesale to local utilities, which handle the last mile.


Tennessee Power Co-op and ISP use new state law to add broadband

Daily Yonder | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Rural News

New rules in Tennessee allow utility co-ops more leeway in providing internet service to their customers.


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