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§ 913. Limitation on certain governmental actions

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 3 P.S. AgricultureEffective: May 15, 2006

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 3 P.S. Agriculture (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 14A. Agricultural Area Security (Refs & Annos)
Effective: May 15, 2006
3 P.S. § 913
§ 913. Limitation on certain governmental actions
(a) Approval required for condemnation and for certain other actions by an agency of the Commonwealth.--No agency of the Commonwealth having or exercising powers of eminent domain shall condemn for any purpose any land within any agricultural security area which land is being used for productive agricultural purposes (not including the growing of timber) unless prior approval has been obtained in accordance with the criteria and procedures established in this section from the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board as established in section 306 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177, No. 175)1, known as “The Administrative Code of 1929.” The condemnation approval specified by this subsection shall not be required for an underground public utility facility that does not permanently impact the tilling of soil or for any facility of an electric cooperative corporation or for any public utility facility the necessity for and the propriety and environmental effects of which has been reviewed and ratified or approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In addition, all State-funded development projects which might affect land in established agricultural security areas shall be reviewed by the appropriate local agricultural advisory committee and by the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board. Each reviewing body may suggest any modification to the State-funded development projects which ensures the integrity of the agricultural security areas against nonfarm encroachment.
(b) Approval required for condemnation by a political subdivision, authority, public utility or other body.--No political subdivision, authority, public utility or other body having or exercising powers of eminent domain shall condemn any land within any agricultural security area for any purpose, unless prior approval has been obtained from Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board and from each of the following bodies: the governing bodies of the local government units encompassing the agricultural security area, the county governing body, and the Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee. Review by the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board and the other indicated bodies shall be in accordance with the criteria and procedures established in this section. The condemnation approvals specified by this subsection shall not be required for an underground public utility facility that does not permanently impact the tilling of soil or for any facility of an electric cooperative corporation or for any public utility facility the necessity for and the propriety and environmental effects of which has been reviewed and ratified or approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regardless of whether the right to establish and maintain such underground or other public utility facility is obtained by condemnation, or by agreement with the owner.
(c) Notice.--Any condemnor wishing to condemn property the approval for which is required under this section shall at least 30 days prior to taking such action notify each of the foregoing bodies that such action is contemplated, and no such condemnation shall be effective until 60 days following the receipt of such notice.
(d) Review by Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board and other bodies.--
(1) Upon receipt of such notice the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board and the bodies provided for in subsection (b) jointly shall review the proposed condemnation in accordance with the applicable criteria established in paragraph (2).
(2)(i) In the case of condemnation for highway purposes (but not including activities relating to existing highways such as, but not limited to, widening roadways, the elimination of curves or reconstruction, for which no approval is required) and in the case of condemnation for the disposal of solid or liquid waste material, the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board or other appropriate reviewing body shall approve the proposed condemnation only if it determines there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to the utilization of the land within the agricultural security area for the project.
(ii) In all other cases not otherwise specifically provided for, the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board or other appropriate reviewing body shall approve the proposed condemnation only if it determines that:
(A) the proposed condemnation would not have an unreasonably adverse affect upon the preservation and enhancement of agriculture or municipal resources within the area or upon the environmental and comprehensive plans of the county, municipality and the Commonwealth, or upon the goals, resource plans, policies or objectives thereof; or
(B) there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to the utilization of the lands within the agricultural security area for the project.
(e) Public hearings.--Within such 60-day period the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Board and other indicated bodies, as appropriate, shall hold a public hearing concerning the proposed condemnation at a place within or otherwise readily accessible to the area. Timely notice of such hearing shall be placed in a newspaper having a general circulation within the area and a written notice shall be posted at five conspicuous places within or adjacent to the area. Individual written notice shall also be given to all local government units encompassing all or part of the area, to the proposed condemnor, and to the owners of the land proposed to be condemned.
(f) Findings and decisions.--The Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board and other indicated bodies, as appropriate, shall render findings and decisions on or before the expiration of such 60-day period and likewise within such period shall report the same to the proposed condemnor, the local government units affected and any party who files an appearance at such hearing. If the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board or any other indicated body fails to act within the 60-day period, the condemnation shall be deemed approved.
(g) Injunctions.--The Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board may request the Attorney General or the bodies may request their solicitor to bring an action to enjoin any such condemnor from violating any of the provisions of this section.
(h) Emergencies excepted.--This section shall not apply to any emergency project which is immediately necessary for the protection of life or property.

Credits

1981, June 30, P.L. 128, No. 43, § 13, effective in 60 days. Amended 1988, Dec. 14, P.L. 1202, No. 149, § 1, effective in 60 days; 2006, May 15, P.L. 190, No. 46, § 3, imd. effective.

Footnotes

71 P.S. § 106.
3 P.S. § 913, PA ST 3 P.S. § 913
Current through 2022 Regular Session Act 40. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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