It is time for another recap of some of the key agricultural law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.
* Court orders Maui County to obtain NPDES permit for injection wells on remand. You all likely remember the US Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, in which the US Supreme Court held that NPDES permits are required for both direct discharges into waters of the United States and for indirect discharges that are the functional equivalent of a direct discharge. On remand, the trial court has ruled on summary judgment that the injection wells meet the functional equivalent test and, therefore, the County is required to obtain a NPDES permit. [Read Opinion here.]
* The problem with abandoned wells. There was a really interesting article recently highlighting the serious issues with abandoned wells across the US, focusing in particular on a family’s large West Texas ranch. [Read article here.]
* Article claims rural landowners’ wells going dry after Vista Ridge pipeline built. If you have been here a while, you know we’ve followed along with a number of legal issues related to the Vista Ridge pipeline, whereby groundwater was pumped in Milam and Burleson counties and transported to San Antonio. [Read article here.]
*Article outlines estate planning mistakes to avoid. The Dallas Morning News published an article discussing five critical estate planning mistakes to avoid. I’ve seen several of these bite people, so it’s a good reminder! [Read article here.]
I’ve got a couple of events for private groups in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be chatting with the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce about hot topics in agricultural law next week, and the following week, I’ll be presenting on estate planning to the H-Calf Committee of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. To see all of my upcoming presentations, click here.
To those of you interested in our live Ranchers Leasing Workshop and Owning Your Piece of Texas programs, we will be having one of each in the San Antonio area this fall! We will host the Ranchers Leasing Workshop in Floresville on September 15 and Owning Your Piece of Texas on September 16 in Seguin. Click here for more information and to register.