Agricultural operation not to be deemed a nuisance, when--exceptions--costs.

537.295. 1. No agricultural operation or any of its appurtenances shall be deemed to be a nuisance, private or public, by any changed conditions in the locality thereof after the facility has been in operation for more than one year, when the facility was not a nuisance at the time the operation began. An agricultural operation protected pursuant to the provisions of this section may reasonably expand its operation in terms of acres or animal units without losing its protected status so long as all county, state, and federal environmental codes, laws, or regulations are met by the agricultural operation. Reasonable expansion shall not be deemed a public or private nuisance, provided the expansion does not create a substantially adverse effect upon the environment or creates a hazard to public health and safety, or creates a measurably significant difference in environmental pressures upon existing and surrounding neighbors because of increased pollution. Reasonable expansion shall not include complete relocation of a farming operation by the owner within or without the present boundaries of the farming operation; however, reasonable expansion of like kind that presently exists, may occur. If a poultry or livestock operation is to maintain its protected status following a reasonable expansion, the operation must ensure that its waste handling capabilities and facilities meet or exceed minimum recommendations of the University of Missouri extension service for storage, processing, or removal of animal waste. The protected status of an agricultural operation, once acquired, shall be assignable, alienable, and inheritable. The protected status of an agricultural operation, once acquired, shall not be waived by the temporary cessation of farming or by diminishing the size of the operation. The provisions of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from the negligent or improper operation of any such agricultural operation or its appurtenances.

2. As used in this section the term "agricultural operation and its appurtenances" includes, but is not limited to, any facility used in the production or processing for commercial purposes of crops, livestock, swine, poultry, livestock products, swine products or poultry products.

3. The provisions of this section shall not affect or defeat the right of any person, firm or corporation to recover damages for any injuries sustained by it as a result of the pollution or other change in the quantity or quality of water used by that person, firm or corporation for private or commercial purposes, or as a result of any overflow of land owned by or in the possession of any such person, firm or corporation.

4. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any nuisance resulting from an agricultural operation located within the limits of any city, town or village on August 13, 1982.

5. In any nuisance action brought in which an agricultural operation is alleged to be a nuisance, and which is found to be frivolous by the court, the defendant shall recover the aggregate amount of costs and expenses determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred in his behalf in connection with the defense of such action, together with a reasonable amount for attorneys fees.