Indiana’s “Right to Farm Act” (RTFA) was enacted in 1981 with the intent of protecting existing farmers from urban sprawl. The law did this by barring nuisance lawsuits by newcomers who moved from the city next to existing farms and sued because they couldn’t tolerate the smell. In 2005, the RTFA was amended at the urging of the powerful meat and dairy industries to protect newly built factory farms from lawsuits by neighbors were there first. In effect, the RTFA was transformed from a “Right to Farm” to a “Right to Harm.” Now, families that have lived in their homes for decades are forced to endure the extremely noxious odors and dangerous air pollution from a newly built factory farm that makes living conditions unbearable and causes their property values to plummet without any recourse whatsoever. Due to the amended RTFA, rural families are retroactively stripped of their long-vested property rights the day a factory farm is built next door, along with their ability to obtain a legal remedy in court. This injustice is contrary to founding principles of our federal and state constitutions–namely, that there is no right without a remedy, all citizens are entitled to equal protection under the law, and government cannot strip away or infringe upon the property rights of its citizens without providing just compensation. Accordingly, we are introducing bipartisan legislation that will amend the RTFA to require responsible siting of factory farms and restore the property rights of our fellow citizens so that they can protect their homes and communities from becoming a dumping ground for factory farms.  This bill was denied a hearing in the 2021 Indiana General Assembly.

    • Still please urge your state representative to support hearing HB 1472 in the next legislative session. 
    • Talking Points
      • Even if a factory farm complies with all regulations, that does nothing to reduce harm to neighbors because the noxious air pollution released by factory farms is not regulated under federal and state clean air laws.
      • No citizen in Indiana should have to forfeit their fundamental right to live in peace and dignity in their own homes so that a powerful industry can expand and pollute with impunity.