Right to Farm Ruling for York County Biosolids Application

Synagro Central received a permit in 2005 from the Department of Environmental Protection to apply biosolids to farmland in York County, PA. In July 2008, residents living near the farm began filing complaints stating the company was trespassing on land and was creating a health hazard by using biosolids.
On October 9,2014 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review of a 34 plaintiff tort case where landowners were questioning the land application of biosolids in York County, PA. In the case Gilbert v. Synagro Central, the court unanimously held that biosolids application is a “normal agricultural operation” protected by the Right to Farm Act.
Members of the Mid Atlantic Biosolids Association were  involved in providing research in determining the safety of biosolids for the case. This is a monumental ruling that could be used by other states when questioning the land application of biosolids. For more information about the court case view the National Review’s Article Unanimous Ruling in Pennsylvania Supreme Court Shields Biosolids Land Application for Tort Claims.