Cooper Vetoes Bill Limiting Farm Nuisance Damages

From US News & World Report

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation limiting certain monetary damages that neighbors of hog and poultry farm operations can collect if a court determines the stench from animal waste is officially a nuisance.

“The agriculture and forestry industries are vital to our economy and we should encourage them to thrive. But nuisance laws can be used to protect property rights and make changes for good,” Cooper said in his veto message, adding that eroding nuisance actions “can allow real harm to homeowners, the environment and everyday North Carolinians.”

The measure would restrict compensatory damages in these civil lawsuits against farming and forestry operations up to the lost property value or rental value of affected properties.

Astute readers will note that all this bill did was restrict the amount of compensatory damages that could be awarded in a lawsuit.  It did nothing whatsoever to reduce state or federal environmental regulation.  Cooper clearly appears to suggest that lawsuits over nuisance damages are a major force in protecting the environment.

Perhaps we should file this under “Roy Cooper Lies Again”


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