HB 1150 has been introduced in the Georgia General Assembly. It nearly eliminates the ability of farmers and other Georgia property owners to protect themselves from nuisances moving in next door by gutting Georgia’s current Right to Farm Law, known nationally as one of the most protective laws for existing farmers and forest landowners.
The current right to farm legislation protects existing farmers from nuisance lawsuits if someone moves in next door and decides that they don’t like living next to a farm. At the same time, if a new farm moves in next door, and creates a nusiance for existing neighbors, they can be sued.
This has enabled farmers to continue to farm, despite suburban sprawl, and enabled farmers and landowners to protect themselves from a large animal feeding operation moving in next year.
The new law would put into place a one year statue of limitations on lawsuits. This enables newly arriving operations backed by global meat conglomerates to create nuisances without consequence. After one year they create nuisances and harm neighbors forever, even if the neighbors were there first. One year of operation is not long enough to determine if a new meat production facility will be a nuisance. Intense odors, flies, airborne feces, and water pollution take time to get bad enough for neighbors to suffer.
Recently, Sen Kim Jackson appeared on GPB’s Lawmakers show – https://www.gpb.org/television/show/lawmakers/season/52/lawmakers-day-12-02072022
She was armed with facts and figures from Science for Georgia and Georgia Water Coalition members. We thank Sen Jackson for spreading the word about this bill.
You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone, opinion piece, Michael Linsey, Mar 7, 2022