The bill also prohibits lawsuits by non-neighbors. That would prevent, for example, nonprofit environmental organizations from suing.
April Lipscomb, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center who testified in the hearings, wrote a summary of why she believed the new law was bad.
“Under current law, residents who were there first can protect their property rights any time an agricultural nuisance occurs, even if the nuisance occurs 20 years after the agricultural facility began operating,” she wrote. “Under HB 1150, existing residents can only protect their property rights from nuisances created during the first two years of the facility’s operation. That is not a compromise; it’s an assault on property rights.”
The bill passed in the waning hours of the legislative session.
Upon signing the bill, Kemp said: “As the global marketplace continues to react to Russia’s unprovoked and unjust war in Ukraine — Europe’s breadbasket — the importance of the ag sector here in America, and especially here in Georgia, will only continue to grow. Our farming families are more important than ever, and that’s one of many reasons why its so crucial we protect their way of life.”
Want more politics news? Get the latest news and in-depth coverage from the Georgia Legislature, political campaigns, and state issues on ajc.com/politics.