Ohio’s Proposed Hemp Rules Are Out

By: Peggy Kirk Hall and Ellen Essman, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Ohio’s newly created hemp program is one step further toward getting off the ground.   On October 9, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) released its anxiously awaited proposal of the rules that will regulate hemp production in Ohio.   ODA seeks public comments on the proposed regulations until October 30, 2019.

There are two parts to the rules package:  one rule for hemp cultivation and another for hemp processing.   Here’s an overview of the components of each rule: Continue reading

New Law Bulletin Explains The New Hemp Frontier

By: Ellen Essman, Senior Research Associate, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

These days, industrial hemp never seems to leave the news. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to decide a case involving the interstate shipment of hemp between Oregon and Colorado by way of Idaho. Hemp is illegal in Idaho, where the product was seized and the driver was arrested, even though the 2018 Farm Bill allows for the interstate transportation of hemp. The Ninth Circuit, reviewing the case, determined that the state court actions needed to be decided before federal courts could hear the case. Ohio also made news this summer when the state passed a bill legalizing hemp in the state. Continue reading

WOTUS Repealed, Will Get ‘Redefined,’ EPA Says

By: Rhonda Brooks (previously published by Farm Journal’s Pork online)

On Thursday, a 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act was formally revoked.

“Let’s just call it what it was, an example of the worst kind of regulatory overreach,” said U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), of the Obama-era WOTUS rule, during the announcement.

“Repealing the rule is a major win for American agriculture,” noted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, in remarks he made at the presentation. “Farmers and ranchers are exceptional stewards of the land, taking great care to preserve it for generations to come. President Trump is making good on his promise to reduce burdensome regulations to free our producers,” he added. Continue reading

MFP Details Announced

Source: USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments announced by the Trump Administration in May. MPF will provide up to $14.5 billion to producers in up to three tranches starting with a first round of payments this August.

Payment rates vary by county from $15 to $150 per acre based on USDA’s calculated damages from tariffs in each individual county affected — most in the $50 to $75 range per acre, according to USDA. That single-county rate will be multiplied by a farm’s total planted acreage for all MFP-eligible crops in aggregate for 2019, not to exceed total 2018 plantings. The county rates for Ohio can be found here.  Continue reading

What Are States Doing About Agricultural Nutrient Impacts on Water Quality?

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law. Originally published in the Ohio Ag Law Blog

Sparse dry weather conditions haven’t dampened concerns about the extent of agricultural water quality problems we may see when summer weather finally arrives.   Despite the weather, harmful algal bloom (HAB) predictions for the summer are already out and are one important  measure of water quality impacts that are attributed to agriculture.   As HABs arise, so too do the questions about what is being done  to reduce HABs and other water quality impacts resulting from agricultural production activities.  We set out to answer these questions by examining key players in the water quality arena:  the states.

In our new national report, State Legal Approaches to Reducing Water Quality Impacts from the Use of Agricultural Nutrients on Farmland, we share the results of research that examines how states are legally responding to the impact of agricultural nutrients on water quality.  After examining state laws, regulations and policies across the country, we can make several observations about state responses to the agricultural water quality issue. Continue reading

Gov. Dewine Outlines H2Ohio Water Quality Initiative

From: Ohio Ag Net

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his H2Ohio water quality initiative, which he is introducing as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.

“Water is vital to everyone, yet communities throughout the state face real and different challenges, such as algae blooms, failing septic tanks, nutrient pollution, and threats of lead contamination,” Governor DeWine said. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio.” Continue reading

Meet and Greet Opportunities With ODA Director Pelanda

By: Ohio Department of Agriculture
Previously published by Ohio Ag Net

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is announcing the rest of a series of informal meet and greet events across Ohio with Director Dorothy Pelanda. The meetings will present the opportunity for Director Pelanda to introduce herself, share information regarding her background and listen to thoughts and ideas from members of Ohio’s food and agriculture industry. Continue reading

Lake Erie Bill of Rights Issue To Go To Toledo Voters

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The Ohio Supreme Court recently decided that a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” initiative could be placed before Toledo residents in a special election Feb. 26, 2019. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) is a proposed amendment to the Toledo City Charter. Josh Abernathy, an opponent to the initiative, brought the lawsuit, seeking a “writ of prohibition”— meaning he wanted the Ohio Supreme Court to determine that the Lucas County Board of Elections must remove LEBOR from the special election ballot. Continue reading

New ODA Director Changes Course of Watersheds in Distress Rulemaking

By: Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State University

Less than a week into the administration of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a new approach to watersheds in distress has emerged. Director Dorothy Pelanda assumed the helm of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in days ODA had changed the status of the proposed watersheds in distress rules in the Register of Ohio to “To Be Refiled.” Continue reading

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda Tapped to Lead ODA

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) was nominated Thursday to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Gov.-elect Mike Dewine. In addition, Laurie Stevenson has been nominated to head the Ohio EPA.

Pelanda will be stepping into the ODA director role occupied by Tim Derickson since October and previously held by David Daniels. Derickson will stay at ODA and return to his position as assistant director. Pelanda served on the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Pelanda has been active on the state legislature, representing the 83rd House District, which includes Union and Logan counties, as well as most of Marion County. Continue reading