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Articles

ADEQ Issues Draft Decision to Deny C&H Hog Farm Permit

On September 17, 2018, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality ("ADEQ") issued a draft denial of C&H; Hog Farm's permit application for the operation of a swine facility along the Buffalo National River.

USDA and FDA to Revise Regulation of Agricultural Biotechnology

The United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration have recently initiated processes to evaluate and propose revisions to their approaches to the regulation of agricultural biotechnology. On June 29, 2018 the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released a notice of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement in connection with potential changes to USDA regulations governing plant biotechnology products. The notice identifies potential issues APHIS will evaluate in the EIS and seeks public comments on the impacts and alternatives the agency should consider. Comments on the notice are due by July 30, 2018. APHIS’s review of its regulations is part of a broader federal effort to examine federal oversight of biotechnology-derived products to address advances in biotechnology. In June, the FDA announced “new steps” in its approach to the regulation of biotechnology-derived products, including the formation of a new Biotech Working Group and forthcoming release of an Action Plan to ensure a “flexible regulatory framework” focused on (i) advancing and protecting public and animal health, (ii) strengthening public outreach and communication, and (iii) increasing engagement with domestic and international partners.

PPGMR’s Amanda Denton Interviewed by Arkansas Business on new Privacy Laws

Amanda Denton was featured in the July 16, 2018 issue of Arkansas Business to address recent changes in foreign privacy regulations, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR), and their impact on local data collection and privacy policies. More recently, California’s legislature has now adopted its own privacy law overhaul, which could have a more immediate effect on compliance efforts for Arkansas companies. According to Denton, there’s a very practical reason behind all of the privacy policy updates that consumers in the U.S. are seeing in their inboxes. U.S. companies, including many tech-based businesses in Arkansas, must adopt new procedures and privacy policies to govern how they handle EU data in order to comply with the EU’s GDPR. But there’s now even more reason to revamp privacy policies, including for companies focused on the domestic market. On the heels of the GDPR’s entry into force, California’s legislature on June 28 adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Businesses collecting personal information from Californians must offer new choices to users, including to allow users to prevent the sale or sharing of their data, request records of collected information, and more. It’s clear that major U.S. businesses have already begun offering domestic consumers EU-inspired data protection rights. Emerging businesses setting their sights on foreign and nationwide consumers will not want to be behind the times. U.S. companies can avoid the need to cherry-pick and segregate their data sets according to jurisdiction by adopting a single new policy for all of their data. Contact PPGMR Law to inquire about privacy policy consultations.

PPGMR Successful on Summary Judgment in Employment Discrimination Case

PPGMR Law recently obtained summary judgment dismissal for firm client Brookshire Grocery Company in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. PPGMR attorneys Scott Morgan and Molly Shepherd successfully achieved dismissal of all claims in an employment discrimination case brought by a former Brookshire Grocery Company employee. Plaintiff’s causes of action were based upon alleged sex discrimination leading to his termination. In his Complaint, he alleged that he was treated differently than similarly situated employees. In its Order dismissing all claims, the Court held that he failed to establish a prima facie case because he failed to establish a similarly-situated employee who was treated differently than he was.

Supreme Court to Review Reach of Endangered Species Act

On Monday, January 22nd the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an environmental law case that centers on the question of whether the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) allows an agency such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) to designate private land as “critical habitat” when it is neither a habitat nor critical.