League of Women Voters Urges “NO” vote on HB 27 Protection for Agricultural Practices

The League of Women Voters is asking its members to put the pressure on to legislators to vote “no” on HB 27.  In an email distributed to its member list, the LWV states its position on this bill.

The LWV of Utah believes this bill removes language from the current law that more reasonably defined what sound agricultural practices are, deletes wording that gave the public some right to protect health and safety, and goes further than current statutes to include large industrial processes in traditional agriculture in order to give them the special protections we might want for the family farm.

We fear that the proposed wording would make it impossible for Utahans’ to sue large agricultural operations for air and water pollution and leave us to clean up after the wastes of such establishments as the large, enclosed pig farms near Milford.

Below are some bullet points that describe what is wrong with the bill, give some background, and suggest some approaches you might take.

1.  HB 27 is touted as a response to a recent case in which a farmer was forced to spend $60,000 to defend against suburban neighbors who complained of alfalfa seeds in their swimming pool.  Urban sprawl and summer cabins encroaching on agricultural land and then complaining about farms is a real
problem but can be addressed by other means like local planning and zoning ordinances.

2.  HB 27 gives large, industrial agricultural operations the same special protection it gives traditional agriculture.  In order to protect public health and safety a large, industrial operation even an agricultural one should be subject to the same rules as any other large industrial operation.

3.  The LWV has seen a long succession of bills touted to protect the “the family farm” be used to protect large, industrial pig farms, etc.  HB 27 is more of the same.  If you have opinions/feelings about contained animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in general and the Milford area pig farms in particular, now is the time to tell your senator.

4.  A good argument for you senator if an urban/suburban one:  As a good hearted urban legislator you may believe you are helping farmers and ranchers when they vote for bills like this when they are in fact aiding and abetting agribusiness – not something favored by your constituents.

5.  If you live in a bad air county speak of the need to curb all sources of pollution, even agriculture.  This bill will make it very difficult to curb the truly dangerous pollution that emanates from egregiously large
agricultural operations.  Much of the opposition to this bill comes from clean air advocates and physicians.

6.  If you support the farmers market and local farmers you might say so. Bills that address the loss of the state’s most productive farmland along the Wasatch Front would be more to the point if the motive

Gregory S. Bell mailto:gbell@utahsenate.org Fruit Heights (801) 531-8900
Curtis S. Bramble   mailto:cbramble@utahsenate.org Provo h(801)226-3663
c(801)361-5802 fx(801)812-8297
D. Chris Buttars  mailto:dcbuttars@utahsenate.org WJordan h(801)
561-0535 fx(801) 561-3242
Allen M. Christensen  mailto:achristensen@utahsenate.org N Ogden h(801)
782-5600 c (801) 710-0315
Gene Davis  mailto:gdavis@utahsenate.org SLC, h(801) 484-9428 fx (801)
Margaret Dayton mailto:mdayton@utahsenate.org Orem h(801) 221-0623
Fx(801) 221-2513
Brent H. Goodfellow   mailto:bgoodfellow@utahsenate.org WVC h(801)
968-0626 c(801) 556-4871
Jon J. Greiner  mailto:jgreiner@utahsenate.org Ogden o(801) 629-8226
h(801) 621-0423
Lyle W. Hillyard mailto:lhillyard@utahsenate.org Logan o(435) 752-2610
h(435) 753-0043 fx (435) 753-8895
David P. Hinkins   mailto:dhinkins@utahsenate.org Orangeville
o(435)748-2828 h(435)384-5550 fax(435)748-2089
Scott K. Jenkins   mailto:sjenkins@utahsenate.org Plain City
o(801)621-5412 h(801)731-5120
Patricia W. Jones mailto:pjones@utahsenate.org SLC o(801) 322-5722 h(801)
278-7667 fx(801) 322-5725
Sheldon Killpack mailto:skillpack@utahsenate.org Syracuse h(801) 773-5486
Peter C. Knudson   mailto:pknudson@utahsenate.org Brigham City
o(435)723-6366 h(435)723-2035 fx(435)723-6371
Daniel R. Liljenquist mailto:dliljenquist@utahsenate.org Bountiful h(801)
Mark B. Madsen mailto:mmadsen@utahsenate.org Lehi o(801) 361-4787
Karen Mayne  mailto:kmayne@utahsenate.org WVC h(801) 968-7756
Scott D. McCoy   mailto:smccoy@utahsenate.org SLC, Utah 84102 o(801)
533-8383 h(801) 359-2544
Karen W. Morgan mailto:kmorgan@utahsenate.org SLC o(801) 538-1406 h(801)
943-0067 fx(801) 943-9614
Wayne Niederhauser   mailto:wniederhauser@utahsenate.org Sandy
o(801)558-4766 h(801)942-3398 fx(866)283-7751
Ralph Okerlund mailto:rokerlund@utahsenate.org Monroe h(435)527-3370
c(435)979-7077 fx(435)527-3370
Luz Robles mailto:lrobles@utahsenate.org SLC o(801)521-0407 h(801)
Ross I. Romero mailto:rromero@utahsenate.org SLC o(801)844-7229
h(801)364-2451 fx(801)594-8486
Howard A. Stephenson mailto:hstephenson@utahsenate.org S Draper
o(801)972-8814 h(801)576-1022
Dennis E. Stowell mailto:dstowell@utahsenate.org Parowan h(435)477-8143
c(435)559-8143 fx(435)477-8111
Kevin Van Tassell  mailto:kvantassell@utahsenate.org Vernal
o(435)789-7082 h(435)789-0724 fx(435)789-8411
Stephen H. Urquhart mailto:surquhart@utahsenate.org St. George
o(435)668-7759 fx(435)272-4484
John L. Valentine mailto:jvalentine@utahsenate.org Orem, o (801)373-6345
h(801)224-1693 fx(801)377-4991
Michael G. Waddoups mailto:waddoups@utahsenate.org W Jordan
o(801)355-1136 h(801)967-0225

League of Women Voters
3804 Highland Drive 8-D
Salt Lake City UT 84106
801.272-5942  fax

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and
influences public policy through education and advocacy.


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