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Lay of the Land

Poland's Eco-Farms | Factory Farms | Snowmobile Ban | For the Record | Clean Car Bill | Protect California Wilderness | Take a Friend to the Polls | Bold Strokes | All Species Foundation | Updates

Big Pig Fights Back

By Jennifer Hattam

Fed up with the dirty air, fouled water, and just plain stench caused by huge livestock operations, U.S. communities in eight states have enacted laws to keep them out. Now factory farms are fighting back. A bill passed in April by the Pennsylvania senate seeks to limit local governments’ ability to make such restrictions–and to punish them financially if they try.

"If a community adopts an ordinance that is struck down under this bill, they would have to pay the company’s legal costs," says Jeff Schmidt, director of the Sierra Club’s Pennsylvania Chapter. "It would have a chilling effect on communities’ willingness to challenge industry."

The bill is expected to be taken up in the fall by Pennsylvania’s house, which will have to weigh community concerns against big-business bucks.

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