Jury Has No Role In Interpreting Farm Law, Pa. Justices Told

Law360, Philadelphia (May 5, 2015, 6:28 PM EDT) -- A jury's input is not needed to determine whether a farm's use of sewage sludge as fertilizer should be shielded from public nuisance lawsuits lodged by a group of nearby residents, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard at oral arguments Tuesday.

James Slaughter of Beveridge & Diamond PC, representing a Synagro Technologies Inc. subsidiary, told the fives justices in Harrisburg that using sewage sludge was a normal agricultural operation entitled to protection under the state's Right to Farm Act.

"Biosolids are recognized as an agricultural fertilizer under many Pennsylvania and federal laws and regulations," he said. "The normal agricultural operation definition in...

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