GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND
TITLE 2. AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY
CHAPTER 23. RIGHT TO FARM
2-23-1 Short title.
This Chapter shall be known as "The Rhode Island Right to Farm Act".
2-23-2 Legislative findings.
The general assembly finds:
(1) That agricultural operations are valuable to the state's economy and the general welfare of the state's people;
(2) That agricultural operations are adversely affected by the random encroachment of urban land uses throughout rural areas of the state;
(3) That, as one result of this random encroachment, conflicts have arisen between traditional agricultural land uses and urban land uses; and
(4) That conflicts between agricultural and urban land uses threaten to force the abandonment of agricultural operations and the conversion of agricultural resources to non-agricultural land uses, whereby these resources are permanently lost to the economy and the human and physical environments of the state.
2-23-3 Declaration of policy.
The general assembly declares that it shall be the policy of the state to promote an environment in which agricultural operations may be safeguarded against nuisance actions arising out of conflicts between agricultural operations and urban land uses.
2-23-4 "Agricultural operations" defined.
As used in this chapter, "agricultural operations" shall include any commercial enterprise which has as its primary purpose horticulture, viticulture, viniculture, floriculture, forestry, stabling of horses, dairy farming, or aquaculture, or the raising of livestock, furbearing animals, poultry, or bees.
2-23-5 Nuisance actions against agricultural operations.
(a) No agricultural operation, as defined in this chapter is found to be a public or private nuisance, due to alleged objectionable:
(1) Odor from livestock, manure, fertilizer, or feed, occasioned by generally accepted farming procedures;
(2) Noise from livestock or farm equipment used in normal, generally accepted farming procedures;
(3) Dust created during plowing or cultivation operations;
(4) Use of pesticides, rodenticides, insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
This provision pertains only to nuisance actions under chapter 1 of title 10.
(b) In addition, no city or town ordinance adopted under § 23-19.2-1 shall be enforced against any agricultural operation as defined in this chapter. In addition, no rule or regulation of the department of transportation shall be enforced against any agricultural operation to prevent it from placing a seasonal directional sign or display on the state's right-of-way, on the condition that that sign or display conforms with the local zoning ordinance, and that sign or display is promptly removed by the agricultural operation upon the conclusion of the season for which said sign or display was placed.
2-23-6 Negligence actions -- Pesticide use not affected.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to agricultural operations which are conducted in a malicious or negligent manner, or to agricultural operations which are conducted in violation of federal or state law controlling the use of pesticides, rodenticides, insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
If any provision of this chapter, or determination made hereunder, or application hereof to any person, agency, or circumstances is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this chapter and its application to any person, agency, or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. The invalidity of any section or sections of this chapter shall not affect the remainder of this chapter.
Enacted in 1982, amended in 1998..
Reviewed by AAHS in June 2001.
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