fair.png
Thursday August 11th, 2022 2:50PM

Georgia lawmakers seek stronger lawsuit shield for farmers

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers are seeking to strengthen farmers' protections from being sued over nuisances such as noises, dust and odors, a move that farming advocates cast Friday as a key vote in favor of an embattled agriculture sector, while environmentalists said it would open the door for bad neighbors.

The Senate voted 31-23 for House Bill 1150, sending it back to the House for final approval of changes.

The most important change made in the Senate was a deal to lengthen from one year to two years the amount of time someone has to sue over a nuisance after operations begin. Final passage would mark the end of a multi-year push by state and national farm groups seeking a new lawsuit protection measure to replace the one Georgia has had on the books for decades.

Georgia's current law provides protections to a property owner when new people move in next door. But farming advocates say that framework has grown legally shaky and that encroaching development makes that provision nearly meaningless anyway. Instead, they argue the law should make clear that no farmers can be sued for a nuisance after their farms have been operating for more than two years.

“There's hardly any farms that don't have some development or some neighbors around them," said Sen. Larry Walker, a Perry Republican.

Environmentalists and some small farmers worry the bill could open the way for farmers to make big changes that might hurt the ability of longtime neighbors to enjoy their property. They say nuisance suits are rare in Georgia, but the bill is being pushed by the meat industry to shield its farmers’ harmful activities.

“In real life, nuisances can take many years to manifest themselves," said Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, a Dawson Republican. "Any time a new nuisance is created after the second year of operation, an affected neighbor has no recourse unless they can show the nuisance is a result of bad action, even if the affected neighbor was there first.”

This issue of large-scale animal operations has hung up previous attempts to change the law. The new proposal has a clause that says the one-year timeframe for a lawsuit would start over if an existing farm built what federal officials classify as a medium-sized or large concentrated animal feeding operation for cattle or poultry or a pig feeding operation of any size.

The proposal continues to allow lawsuits against farms that are breaking laws or are operating negligently or improperly, as is the case under current law. Several farmer-senators cast the vote as a way to protect farmers who face other hardships including foreign competition and struggles with large processors that have market power over farmers.

“Who does this bill benefit? It benefits the farm families in our state,” said Tyler Harper, an Ocilla Republican who is the only GOP candidate for agriculture commissioner. “We’ve got to have policies in place that protect our No. 1 industry.”

___

Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
House panel's possible options for alleging Trump 1/6 crimes
The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump last year of inciting the Capitol insurrection
3:43PM ( 9 minutes ago )
House votes to decriminalize marijuana, but Senate fate dim
The House has approved a bill decriminalizing marijuana and letting states set their own policies on pot
3:28PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Vulnerable Dems warn Biden about reopening asylum
The Biden administration’s decision to end sweeping asylum limits at the border this May satisfied demands by prominent Democrats
3:27PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Journalists impeded, not muzzled, by Russian reporting rules
New restrictions placed on journalists in Russia have impeded but not muzzled reporting about the country and its war in Ukraine
2:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Russia aims Ukraine disinformation at Spanish speakers
Disinformation about Russia's invasion of Ukraine is surging in Spanish, as stories crafted for a Latin American audience gets a boost from the Kremlin
2:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
Jan. 6 panel puts Garland in 'precarious' spot, ups pressure
The lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are increasingly going public with critical statements, court filings and more to deliver a blunt message to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice:
2:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Will Trump be charged for Jan. 6? Committee floats crimes
The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump last year of inciting the Capitol insurrection
12:38PM ( 3 hours ago )
UK opens criminal probe into P&O Ferries over crew firings
Britain has launched a criminal investigation has begun into P&O Ferries after the company fired almost 800 U.K.-based crew without warning so they could be replaced by cheaper contract staff
11:43AM ( 4 hours ago )
China rejects sanctions as Ukraine war tops summit agenda
China is renewing its criticism of Western sanctions against Russia and says it won't be forced to choose sides in the conflict in Ukraine
10:56AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Stocks edge higher, Treasury yields soar after jobs data
Stock indexes edged higher on Wall Street Friday while Treasury yields soared, after a healthy report on the U.S. job market strengthened expectations for coming interest rate hikes
2:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
Russia blames Ukraine for fuel depot blast; Kyiv denies role
A fiery explosion at a Russian fuel depot brought accusations from Moscow that Ukraine had attacked the facility, but the secretary of Ukraine’s national security council denied any involvement
2:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ukraine strike on Russian territory reported as talks resume
Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine have resumed as another attempt to rescue civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol broke down
2:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
MASTERS '22: Trivia quiz covering nearly 90 years at Augusta
Who was the first Masters champion
1:46PM ( 2 hours ago )
MASTERS '22: Hole-by-hole detail with best shots at Augusta
The Masters starts Thursday, and the course at Augusta National is among the most famous in the world because it hosts the only major held in the same place
1:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
MASTERS '22: 'Tea Olive' hole can be smelly start to Masters
Talk about a rude welcome to the Master
1:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
House panel's possible options for alleging Trump 1/6 crimes
The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump last year of inciting the Capitol insurrection
3:43PM ( 9 minutes ago )
House votes to decriminalize marijuana, but Senate fate dim
The House has approved a bill decriminalizing marijuana and letting states set their own policies on pot
3:28PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Vulnerable Dems warn Biden about reopening asylum
The Biden administration’s decision to end sweeping asylum limits at the border this May satisfied demands by prominent Democrats
3:27PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Imprisoned Griner gets support from USA Basketball teammates
A’ja Wilson wishes that she and her USA Basketball teammates could do more to help Brittney Griner right now
3:26PM ( 25 minutes ago )
COVID-19 asylum limits at US-Mexico border to end May 23
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's ending a policy that limited asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19
3:21PM ( 31 minutes ago )