Senator Jerry Johnson, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of the Legislature, announced that he has contacted members of Congress, including the Chair and Ranking Member of a key House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee, urging Congress to intervene to require OSHA to commence formal rulemaking before implementing a significant and very costly change affecting farmer cooperatives and other anhydrous fertilizer retailers, and their customers, farmers. Senator Johnson is also contacting his counterparts as legislative committee agricultural chairs in each of the 50 states legislatures through State Agriculture and Rural Leaders to encourage them to weigh in on this issue as well.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an enforcement memorandum notifying of its intention to begin enforcing a change in interpretation of the exemption of retail facilities handling anhydrous ammonia from the applicable Process Safety Management (PSM) standards (PSM of Highly Hazardous Chemicals – 29 CFR 1910.119) that are currently applicable only to anhydrous manufacturing and wholesale storage facilities. Under the change in interpretation, farmer cooperatives and other crop nutrient product retailers handling anhydrous ammonia fertilizers, would suddenly be subject to costly compliance costs which includes costs of staffing, recordkeeping, equipment replacement and other costs. A survey of its members by the Nebraska Cooperative Council found that compliance costs per coop could exceed $10 million apiece.
North Carolina environmental regulators are reversing the previous administration’s decision to bring poultry operations under federal regulation. The state environmental department will protect the agriculture industry from federal overreach by requiring poultry operations to be permitted by the state rather than by federal requirements.
The court ruled that the federal EPA and special interest groups misinterpreted federal clean water regulations by calling for poultry operations to hold a federal permit. The EPA did not file an appeal, indicating that it agrees with the federal judge’s ruling.
Gary Baise of OFW Law and Senator Brent Jackson were involved in this win for agriculture.
A bill pending in the state legislature aims to help dairy farmers meet expected cost increases for implementing new manure regulations. The bill authorizes an income tax credit for Ohio livestock owners who make eligible investments in equipment and facilities for storing and handling manure as well as its application and transportation.
The credit is capped at 50 percent of the investments made between 2005 and Jan. 1, 2020. Livestock owners are to claim the credit over five years. Eligible investments are defined as those incurred to meet state law covering manure in the watershed of the western basin of Lake Erie and to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations in other parts of the state.
Representative Brian Hill, R-Zanesville, said the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2015 resulted in costly regulations for livestock producers. “The new regulations on small livestock producers are set to take effect in less than two years and will take effect for mid-sized producers in less than a year. This short timeframe immediately puts these farmers on-the-clock to create a plan to change
A former cattle producer and owner of a livestock handling equipment business has been tapped to serve as minister of agriculture in the Manitoba’s new Progressive Conservative government.
Ralph Eichler, MLA for the riding of Lakeside in the south Interlake, was sworn in along with his colleagues in Premier Brian Pallister’s cabinet on Tuesday morning at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. A purebred Simmental and commercial cattle producer, Eichler also owned and operated Prairie Farm and Ranch Supply. He was first elected in 2003 and served several stints as ag critic while in Opposition under Pallister and former PC leader Hugh McFadyen.
Minister Eichler also serves as Secretary of State Agriculture and Rural Leaders.
Nebraska will allow thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to work in at least 170 professions that require state licenses including health care and education after lawmakers overrode conservative Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of the measure on Wednesday.
Senators took the vote on the last day of their legislative session, five days after Ricketts called it unfair to immigrants who followed the legal pathway to citizenship. Young immigrants and other supporters erupted in applause from the gallery of the chamber following the 31-13 vote. The new law applies to immigrants who received lawful status under President Barack Obama's executive action in 2012 that allowed them to stay. Nebraska had nearly 5,200 youths who qualified as of December, according to the latest data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A new bill in Connecticut is giving more rights to animals caught up in pet custody and animal cruelty disputes. - See more at: http://www.wfuv.org/content/connecticut-reviews-new-animal-rights-The bill would introduce animal advocates to the court system. Lawmakers are looking to adopt this practice after Rhode Island introduced similar legislation last year. Volunteer law students and lawyers would make themselves available in animal abuse cases and pet custody disputes to defend the interests of animals.