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SARL Members and Alumni News

Amendment defunds grizzly transport, delists wolves

Capital Press | Posted on June 13, 2018

A U.S. Interior Department appropriations bill, just passed out of committee, includes an amendment from Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., that defunds transporting grizzly bears into the North Cascades, delists gray wolves and increases transparency of grazing permit monitoring.

Easy entry into Oregon’s legal pot market means huge surplus

Capital Press | Posted on June 13, 2018

Experts say the dizzying evolution of Oregon’s marijuana industry may well be a cautionary tale for California.

Former state public safety official to head pot company

Boston Globe | Posted on June 13, 2018

Andrea Cabral had a long and successful career in Massachusetts law enforcement, serving stints as a county prosecutor and sheriff before getting appointed as the state’s top public safety official in 2012. So you could be forgiven for not predicting this: she now runs a pot company.

NC bills aim to establish teaching hospitals in rural areas

Winston Salem Journal | Posted on June 12, 2018

Bipartisan bills have been submitted in the state House and Senate that aim to address two major socioeconomic issues facing rural community hospitals.House Bill 998 would direct the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to make recommendations by Oct. 1 for establishing incentives to expand medical education in rural counties.That would include assisting rural hospitals with gaining Medicare approval to become a teaching hospital, as well as incentivize medical residents and students to serve those rural areas after graduation.

Challenge to N.C. ‘ag-gag’ law can proceed

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on June 12, 2018

A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other groups challenging North Carolina’s “ag-gag” law can proceed. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reverses a district court judgment that had dismissed the lawsuit. PETA, the Center for Food Safety, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary, Food & Water Watch, and the Government Accountability Project are suing to overturn the state law criminalizing undercover investigations at agricultural facilities.

Recent Right to Farm Decisions Around the US

Texas Agriculture Law Blog | Posted on June 12, 2018

There have been several court decisions lately across the country related to states’ Right to Farm statutes.  These cases provide good examples of the types of claims that can arise against a farm operation and also illustrate the differences between each state’s Right to Farm Act.

New Mexico official: Texans are 'stealing' water and selling it back for fracking

The Texas Tribune | Posted on June 11, 2018

After you head northeast on Ranch Road 652 from tiny Orla, it’s easy to miss the precise moment you leave Texas and cross into New Mexico. The sign just says “Lea County Line,” and with 254 counties in Texas, you’d be forgiven for not knowing there isn’t one named Lea. But the folks who are selling water over it know exactly where the line is. That’s because on the Texas side, where the “rule of capture” rules groundwater policy, people basically can pump water from beneath their land to their heart’s content. But on the New Mexico side, the state has imposed tight regulations on both surface and groundwater that restrict supply. Here’s the rub — or the opportunity, depending on your perspective: With an oil fracking boom driving demand for freshwater on both sides of the state line in these parts, Texas landowners are helping to fill the void with water from the Lone Star State — including from at least one county in which Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a drought. Now a top New Mexico politician is crying foul, saying that unregulated pumping from wells next to the state line is depleting the shared aquifers that supply water to southern New Mexico.

Ohio Legislature approves orphan well plugging bill

Farm and Dairy | Posted on June 11, 2018

Ohio landowners who have an idle or orphaned well on their property may have a greater chance of getting some relief, following recent votes by the state legislature. The House and Senate both voted in favor of H.B. 225 — a bill that requires the Department of Natural Resources to spend at least 30 percent of the state’s Oil and Gas Well Fund on plugging orphan wells.The bill appropriates a total of $15 million for plugging wells in fiscal year 2019, an increase of $7 million.

Colorado integrates storage into utility planning process

Util | Posted on June 11, 2018

Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation on Friday to encourage the installation of energy storage in the state and to integrate storage procurement mechanisms into utilities' long-term planning processes. House Bill 18-1270, also known as the "Energy Storage Procurement Act," sets a deadline of Feb. 1, 2019, for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to develop procurement rules. Utilities will be able to file applications for rate-based projects by May 1, though they cannot exceed 15 MW. This is the second energy storage bill Colorado lawmakers have passed this year. In March, Hickenlooper signed a measure that focused on consumer-installed storage.

Puerto Rico's Push For Food Independence Intertwined With Statehood Debate

NPR | Posted on June 11, 2018

Hurricane Maria has reignited a small movement in Puerto Rico aimed at strengthening the local food system so the island can survive and thrive without dependence on the mainland U.S. Before the hurricane struck in September 2017, Puerto Rico imported about 85 percent of its food. And to make matters worse, Maria wiped out 80 percent of crops on the island. Local food supporters acted quickly, cleaning debris, helping to replant farms and spreading their belief that a self-sufficient Puerto Rico would be more resilient to future challenges.