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Environmental Regulation and Litigation

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This page covers matters of environmental regulation at the state and federal level concerning pesticide use and disposal, as well as other matters including water quality, nutrient management regulation in including swine, dairy, and wet poultry waste management regulation and litigation. Keywords: general permit, Waters of the United States, WOTUS, Clean Water Act, Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, FIFRA, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), nuisance, trespass, drainage, buffer


Dicamba De-Registration: 9th Circuit Opinion Explained. This narrative summaries the decision by the 9th Circuit in the suit of Family Farm Coalition v EPA, decided in June of 2020. The decision ordered the EPA to remove three dicamba products from registration. As of October 2021, no decision on 2022 approvals has been made.

Right to Farm: Changes to North Carolina’s Farm Nuisance Protection Law  This narrative piece, originally written for the American Agricultural Law Association, reviews the history of North Carolina’s Right to Farm law and the legislative amendments passed in response to the recent nuisance litigation against operations in Duplin, Sampson, and Bladen Counties.

Animal Waste: Status of Swine General Permit (as of 2021) This case review looks at the status (as of early 2021) of the proposed general waste management permit for swine, dairy, and wet poultry operations.

Right to Farm: Discussion of 4th Circuit Opinion in McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, LLC In November 2020 the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion of law on the Right to Farm nuisance cases and verdicts between various plaintiffs and integrator Murphy-Brown (Smithfield). Andrew Branan – editor of the Farmlaw page – was interviewed by Paul Goeringer of University of Maryland about the case.


Water Rights and WOTUS Update. Presentation prepared for the 54th meeting of the NC Irrigation Society Conference, November 4, 2021.

2020 North Carolina Environmental and Land Use Update, Part 1 Delivered at 2020 state Cooperative Extension Conference. Covers overview of demise of Atlantic Coast Pipeline as an example of use of administrative and other law in challenges to fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Also covers recent delisting of Dicamba by court order.

2020 North Carolina Environmental and Land Use Update, Part 2 Covers regulatory status of Waters of the United States (Navigable Waters Rule), drainage issues and mitigation buffers, and nutrient trading markets.

2020 North Carolina Environmental and Land Use Update, Part 3 Covers update on renewable energy in NC as well as highlights of the 2019 Farm Act. Also covered is the status of the Murphy-Brown/Smithfield swine nuisance lawsuits.

2020 North Carolina Environmental and Land Use Update, Part 4 Provides an overview of cooperative extension projects related to land use law.