Farm Wars

Can "Right to Farm" laws resolve growing land use conflicts?
April 10, 2005, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Many commuter families have lived next to small farms for years without complaining of typical inconveniences such as the pungent smell each spring when manure is spread. Indeed, widespread “Right to Farm” laws passed twenty years ago seemed to indicate a permanent truce on these issues. But in the past decade, livestock operations have increased dramatically in size, and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have become the dominant mode of production for American meat and dairy. When a new CAFO with 15,000 hogs, 3,000 cows, or 250,000 hens and a 3.0 acre, 10 million gallon unlined open air manure lagoon is built down the road, neighbors worry their health will be threatened by local air pollution and contaminated drinking water.

...As these battles unfold, even some longtime family farmers in such mixed agriculture and residential areas fear that newcomer suburbanites will put them out of business through “nuisance lawsuits” that attack what they’ve done for generations—store and spread manure on their land."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Sunday, April 10, 2005 in The Next American City
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