Tuesday, June 25, 2013

PA Governor Signs Bill Requiring Biennial Inspection of Agricultural Conservation Easements

The Governor of Pennsylvania signed House Bill 84 into law as Act No. 19 on June 24, 2013.  This bill amends the Agricultural Area Security Law.  These amendments require county governing bodies to inspect all agricultural conservation easements to ensure compliance with the terms of the easement.  The amendments contained within this bill will take effect immediately.

Act No. 19 requires county agricultural land preservation boards conduct biennial inspections of all agricultural conservation easements for compliance with the deed of the easement.  The first inspection must occur within one year of the easement sale.  The bill further requires that land owners be notified of a pending inspection and the inspection time and date must be agreed upon beforehand by the county and landowner.  Following the inspection, reports of the findings must be provided, within 10 days of the inspection, to the landowner.  Violations found during the inspection must be reported to the land owner via certified mail.  Furthermore, the county board and the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board may inspect the land, without prior notice, if there is reasonable belief that a violation of the deed has taken place.

For the full text of the bill, please see the PA General Assembly’s website. 

Written By Gaby Gilbeau – Research Assistant

The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center

June 25, 2013

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