AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS - PROTECTION FROM SUITS
                 Act of Jun. 10, 1982, P.L. 454, No. 133              Cl. 03
                                  AN ACT

     Protecting agricultural operations from nuisance suits and
        ordinances under certain circumstances.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

     Section 1.  Legislative policy.
        It is the declared policy of the Commonwealth to conserve and
     protect and encourage the development and improvement of its
     agricultural land for the production of food and other
     agricultural products. When nonagricultural land uses extend
     into agricultural areas, agricultural operations often become
     the subject of nuisance suits and ordinances. As a result,
     agricultural operations are sometimes forced to cease
     operations. Many others are discouraged from making investments
     in farm improvements. It is the purpose of this act to reduce
     the loss to the Commonwealth of its agricultural resources by
     limiting the circumstances under which agricultural operations
     may be the subject matter of nuisance suits and ordinances.
     Section 2.  Definitions.
        The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
     have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the
     meanings given to them in this section:
        "Agricultural commodity."  Any of the following, transported
     or intended to be transported in commerce:
            (1)  Agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural,
        floricultural, viticultural or dairy products.
            (2)  Livestock and the products of livestock.
            (3)  Ranch-raised fur-bearing animals and the products of
        ranch-raised fur-bearing animals.
            (4)  The products of poultry or bee raising.
            (5)  Forestry and forestry products.
            (6)  Any products raised or produced on farms intended
        for human consumption and the processed or manufactured
        products of such products intended for human consumption.
        "Municipality."  A county, city, borough, incorporated town,
     township or a general purpose unit of government as established
     by the act of April 13, 1972 (P.L.184, No.62), known as the
     "Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law."
        "Normal agricultural operation."  The activities, practices,
     equipment and procedures that farmers adopt, use or engage in
     the production and preparation for market of poultry, livestock
     and their products and in the production, harvesting and
     preparation for market or use of agricultural, agronomic,
     horticultural, silvicultural and aquacultural crops and
     commodities and is:
            (1)  not less than ten contiguous acres in area; or
            (2)  less than ten contiguous acres in area but has an
        anticipated yearly gross income of at least $10,000.
     The term includes new activities, practices, equipment and
     procedures consistent with technological development within the
     agricultural industry. Use of equipment shall include machinery
     designed and used for agricultural operations, including, but
     not limited to, crop dryers, feed grinders, saw mills, hammer
     mills, refrigeration equipment, bins and related equipment used
     to store or prepare crops for marketing and those items of
     agricultural equipment and machinery defined by the act of
     December 12, 1994 (P.L.944, No.134), known as the Farm Safety
     and Occupational Health Act. Custom work shall be considered a
     normal farming practice.
        (2 amended May 15, 1998, P.L.441, No.58)
     Section 3.  Limitation on local ordinances.
        (a)  Every municipality shall encourage the continuity,
     development and viability of agricultural operations within its
     jurisdiction. Every municipality that defines or prohibits a
     public nuisance shall exclude from the definition of such
     nuisance any agricultural operation conducted in accordance with
     normal agricultural operations so long as the agricultural
     operation does not have a direct adverse effect on the public
     health and safety.
        (b)  Direct commercial sales of agricultural commodities upon
     property owned and operated by a landowner who produces not less
     than 50% of the commodities sold shall be authorized,
     notwithstanding municipal ordinance, public nuisance or zoning
     prohibitions. Such direct sales shall be authorized without
     regard to the 50% limitation under circumstances of crop failure
     due to reasons beyond the control of the landowner.
        (3 amended Mar. 19, 1992, P.L.17, No.6)
     Section 4.  Limitation on public nuisances.
        (a)  No nuisance action shall be brought against an
     agricultural operation which has lawfully been in operation for
     one year or more prior to the date of bringing such action,
     where the conditions or circumstances complained of as
     constituting the basis for the nuisance action have existed
     substantially unchanged since the established date of operation
     and are normal agricultural operations, or if the physical
     facilities of such agricultural operations are substantially
     expanded or substantially altered and the expanded or
     substantially altered facility has either: (1) been in operation
     for one year or more prior to the date of bringing such action,
     or (2) been addressed in a nutrient management plan approved
     prior to the commencement of such expanded or altered operation
     pursuant to section 6 of the act of May 20, 1993 (P.L.12, No.6),
     known as the Nutrient Management Act, and is otherwise in
     compliance therewith: Provided, however, That nothing herein
     shall in any way restrict or impede the authority of this State
     from protecting the public health, safety and welfare or the
     authority of a municipality to enforce State law. ((a) amended
     May 15, 1998, P.L.441, No.58)
        (b)  The provisions of this section shall not affect or
     defeat the right of any person, firm or corporation to recover
     damages for any injuries or damages sustained by them on account
     of any agricultural operation or any portion of an agricultural
     operation which is conducted in violation of any Federal, State
     or local statute or governmental regulation which applies to
     that agricultural operation or portion thereof.
     Section 5.  Water damages.
        The provisions of section 4 shall not affect or defeat the
     right of any person, firm or corporation to recover damages for
     any injuries or damages sustained by him or it on account of any
     pollution of, or change in condition of, the waters of any
     stream or on account of any flooding of lands to any such
     person, firm or corporation.
     Section 6.  Saving clause.
        (a)  This act shall not be construed to invalidate any
     contract made prior to its effective date nor shall it be
     construed to apply to any suit brought prior to its effective
     date.
        (b)  The provisions of this act shall not affect or defeat
     the intent of any Federal, State or local statute or
     governmental regulation except nuisance ordinances as they apply
     to any normal agricultural operation.
     Section 7.  Severability.
        If any provision of this act or the application thereof to
     any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity
     shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act
     which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
     application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
     declared to be severable.
     Section 8.  Effective date.
        This act shall take effect in 60 days.