HOUSE BILL NO. 609
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 81, TITLE 10, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO NUISANCE ACTIONS RESULTING FROM AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 81, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section designated as Section 8141, which new section shall read as follows:
"§ 8141. Limitation on Agricultural Operations Nuisance Suits.
(a) For the purposes of this section, Agricultural Operations and its appurtenances means an operation for the purpose of:
(1) Cultivation of land;
(2) Production of agricultural crops;
(3) Raising of poultry;
(4) Production of eggs;
(5) Production of milk and milk products, including but not limited to, ice cream, cheese and butter;
(0) Production of fruit or other horticultural crops including but not limited to Christmas trees and forestry;
(1) Production of livestock, including pasturage;
(2) Production of bees and their products;
(3) Production and raising of horses of all types and descriptions or other equine activity for the purpose of profit; and
(4) The operation of a roadside farmers stand, or a farmer's cart in which not less than 50% of the products sold at the stand or cart are directly from the agricultural operation.
(b) This section does not apply to:
(1) An agricultural operation that does not conform to federal, state or local health or zoning requirements;
(2) A federal, state, or local agency when enforcing air, water quality, or other environmental standards under federal, state or local law; or
(3) An agricultural operation that is conducted in a negligent or improper manner.
(c) No agricultural operation or any of its appurtenances shall be or become a nuisance, private or public, by any changed conditions in or about the locality thereof after the same has been in operation for more than one year if the operation or the change did not constitute a nuisance from the date the agricultural operation began or the date the change in the operation began.
(d) The provisions of subsection (c) shall not affect or defeat the right of any person, firm or corporation to recover damages for any injury or damages sustained by them on account of any pollution of, or change in condition of, the waters of any stream or on account of any overflow onto lands of any such person, firm or corporation.
(e) Any and all ordinances of any unit of local government now in effect or hereafter adopted that would make the operation of any such agricultural operation or its appurtenances a nuisance or providing for abatement thereof as a nuisance in the circumstances set forth in this section and shall be null and void; however, the provisions of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from the negligent or improper operation of any such agricultural operation or any of its appurtenances or when there has been a significant change in the operation itself"
Section 2..This Bill shall apply to all cases filed after the date this Bill is enacted into law.
Approved July 17, 1998