3 P.S. § 951 (2009)
§ 951. 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.
§ 953. 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.
§ 954. 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.
(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.
§ 955. 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.
§ 956. 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.
§ 957. 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.