Iowa homeowners whose quality of life or property values have been impacted by confined feeding operations (CAFOS) may now have even fewer options. Under a bill approved by the Republican-led Legislature, if a CAFO moves next to your property and ruins the value and enjoyment of your land, damages are now capped and no further legal action is possible.
If a confined animal feeding operation is found to be a nuisance, it will be conclusively presumed to be a permanent nuisance. A permanent nuisance is expected to continue unabated, while a temporary nuisance occurs occasionally and could be the basis for a number of lawsuits. This change caps the damages due to a homeowner and prevents any further action against the CAFO.
Iowa raises about 21 million pigs per year. Of the roughly 6,300 hog operations in the state, 2840 house more than 2,000 pigs and 1000 house over 5,000. Despite these numbers, there are only 5-7 nuisance lawsuits a year on average.