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At an event in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Department of the Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works R.D. James announced that the agencies are repealing a 2015 rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. The agencies are also recodifying the longstanding and familiar regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule—ending a regulatory patchwork that required implementing two competing Clean Water Act regulations, which has created regulatory uncertainty across the United...

On Oct. 16, 2019, EPA will hold its semi-annual Environmental Modeling Public Meeting. This is a public forum for pesticide registrants, other stakeholders, and EPA to discuss current issues related to modeling pesticide fate, transport and exposure for risk assessments in a regulatory context. The meeting will focus on: Sources of usage data (relating to the actual application of pesticides, in terms of the quantity applied or units treated); Spatial applications of usage data; Model parameterization; Extrapolation of usage data to fill in gaps; Temporal variability of usage; and Updates on...

A federal court yesterday sided with Kansas and declared that the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule exceeded federal authority and violated administrative procedures, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. “From the beginning, it was clear to us that the WOTUS rule proposed by President Obama’s administration went far beyond the authority granted to the federal agencies by the Clean Water Act and did not go through the proper administrative procedures prior to its adoption,” Schmidt said. “This ruling agrees with our assessment and lays the groundwork for the...

At its 2019 annual meeting in Manhattan, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) chose Lance Nelson of Alliance Ag & Grain LLC as its chairman. Nelson was chosen by the association’s 20-plus member board of directors to serve his two-year term through August of 2021. "I am honored to serve the agribusiness industry in this role,” Nelson said. “This honor is a tremendous privilege and I look forward to helping advance our industry through this association.” Nelson is the 54th industry leader since 1960 to be picked into KARA’s pinnacle role after previously...

After December 16, 2019, all motor carriers and drivers subject to the ELD rule will be required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record hours-of-service data. To help the motor carrier industry and ELD providers prepare for this important deadline, FMCSA is hosting a series of live question and answer sessions. Register for a Live ELD Q&A Session To keep these sessions as informative for the participants as possible, FMCSA is segmenting the Q&A sessions by audience. Select the most relevant session for you and register using the links below. Sessions for...

Reservations are now being accepted for the biennial Region 7 Local Emergency Planning Committees Planning and Response Conference on August 8-10, 2019, at the Embassy Suites Omaha Downtown Old Market. The conference brings together experts from business, industry and government in the fields of chemical emergency, preparedness, prevention, transportation, and health and safety to collaborate and inform participants about chemical risk protection and promotion of chemical safety. Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) serve as focal points in communities for information about hazardous materials, emergency planning, and environmental risks. To assist LEPCs...

The new paraquat and dicamba labels are more restrictive than the restricted use pesticide product labels we’re used to. A significant change is that their use is limited to certified applicators. That is, there is no use of these products (e.g., mixing, loading, application) that may be performed by an individual without a current pesticide applicator certification — even if that individual is supervised by someone with a current pesticide applicator certification. This restriction applies to both commercial and private applications. The KDA pesticide and fertilizer program has made the following...

The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s agricultural advocacy, marketing and outreach team is seeking talented Kansans to serve on the Marketing Advisory Board. The mission of the KDA marketing division is to serve all Kansans through innovative programming and deliver solutions designed to create an environment that facilitates growth and expansion in agriculture while increasing pride in and awareness of the state’s largest industry — agriculture. The Marketing Advisory Board will advise the program team on a variety of topics through the following sub-programs: agricultural business development, international agricultural development/trade, From the...

By Randy Gordon, President and CEO, NGFA A proposed rule designed to update hours-of-service (HOS) guidance for commercial truck drivers is “in the final stages of review,” the U.S. Department of Transportation told Congress on June 19. In testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez said the proposed guidance is under interagency review within the White House Office of Management and Budget. He made the statement during the committee’s hearing preparing for the reauthorization of the so-called Fixing America’s Surface...

The Department of Homeland Security forwarded to the White House Office and Management and Budget late in 2018, a proposal to expand the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (CFATS) program’s Personnel Surety Program (PSP).  The PSP, stipulated by the CFATS risk-based performance standard 12, Part 4, requires that employees at, and visitors to, CFATS regulated facilities be vetted against the federal terrorist screening database.  This program was rolled out a few years ago to cover those CFATS facilities in risk Tiers 1 and 2.  There are approximately 120 facilities in these...

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