• On July 6, 2005, Act 38 also known as "ACRE" (Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment) went into effect to ensure that ordinances adopted by local governments to regulate normal agricultural operations are not in violation of state law. A local ordinance cannot exceed, duplicate or conflict with state law.

    An "unauthorized local ordinance" is an ordinance enacted or enforced by a local government unit which does either of the following:

    • Prohibits or limits a normal agricultural operation unless the local government unit has authority under state law to adopt the ordinance and it is not prohibited or preempted under state law.
    • Restricts or limits the ownership structure of a normal agricultural operation.

    For more information on ACRE, click here.

    The below grid is an easy reference guide to the ACRE cases that have come in to the Office of the Attorney General for review since the beginning of 2017.  You will find the following in the grid: 1) the month and date the complaint was received; 2) the Township involved; 3) a brief bullet point of the issue(s) involved in the case; 4) a link to the ordinance(s) challenged; 5) a link to the ACRE complaint the Office of Attorney General received; 6) a link to the Township response if one was received; 7) the status of the Office of Attorney General’s ACRE review; and 8) the disposition.  Please check this site frequently for updates on existing and newly received cases.

    Received Township  Issue  Ordinance  Complaint  Township Response  Status  Disposition 
    February 2018  Salem Township Eminent Domain/Biosecurity   N/A Complaint    Pending Review   
    November 2017  North Cornwall Operation of a Winery  Ordinance  Complaint    Pending Review   
    October 2017  Lamar Township  Setback for Poultry Barn   Complaint
      Pending Review  
    June 2017  Little Britain  Animal density and type of animals permitted Ordinance
    Complaint Township Response Pending Review
    May 2017 Pennsbury Resource Protection Standards and Stormwater Management
    ordinances as applied to timber
      Pending Review
    May 2017 Peters Township Natural gas use in heating greenhouses Ordinance
    Complaint Township Response  Completed
    February 2017 Lower Saucon Timber Harvesting Ordinance Complaint Township Response Pending Review
    February 2017 North Coventry Timber Harvesting and Weight Limitations on Roads

    Timber Ordinance

    Roads Ordinance

    Timber Complaint

    Roads Complaint

    Township Response Pending Review

    Requests for review of an ordinance should be sent, in writing, to the following address:

    PA Office of Attorney General
    Attn: ACRE
    15th Floor, Strawberry Square
    Harrisburg, PA 17120

    or by email:

    Requests for review should include a copy of the ordinance, a short explanation of the objection the farm owner or operator has to the ordinance, and any other materials that will aid the Attorney General’s review.