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NC State Extension

Natural Resource Regulation and Litigation

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Natural Resource Regulation generally concerns laws related to how and when farming and other land use activities impact ecosystem processes and the health of soil, air, water in a manner detrimental to wildlife and people. This is a broad area of law that includes legislation, regulations on their application and enforcement, and judicial decisions interpreting their scope and permissible impact and limitations on human commerce.


Animal Waste: Court Rules General Permits Are Not Exempt From NC Administrative Procedures Act  This case summary reviews the status (as of 2020) of the revised general waste 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.


2024 Water Law Update: State and Federal Wetlands Regulation. This presentation is an update to earlier WOTUS and drainage presentations to reflect chances following the Farm Act of 2023 regarding isolated wetlands. Also discussed is Swampbuster wetlands protections.

2023 Waters of the United States UpdatePresented to the 55th Annual North Carolina Irrigation Society meeting, November 2, 2023 in Raleigh, NC.

2022 Waters of the United States UpdatePresented to the 54th Annual North Carolina Irrigation Society meeting, November 4, 2022 in Raleigh, NC.

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.