A new South Carolina law will protect plants that are properly permitted and operating legally from being targeted by nuisance lawsuits. File photo
BP has applauded the adoption of a South Carolina law that allows licensed and permitted plants to operate without residents living nearby launching nuisance lawsuits.
Sponsors of the bill wanted to protect existing plants from lawsuits from new developments that are built close to the facilities. Industrial plants cannot be described as a nuisance if all the company's licenses and permits comply with local, state and federal laws and regulations, according to the bill.
"BP commends the bipartisan passage of H.3653 and believes it will help protect the recent $200 million investment and the 400 BP and contractor jobs at the Cooper River plant," John Harvey, BP Cooper River plant manager, told Palmetto Business Daily. "Manufacturing is an integral part of the South Carolina economy, and a stable business climate is essential to ensure companies remain competitive. BP takes great pride in being a good neighbor and is proud to call the Lowcountry home."
The Cooper River Chemicals plant, located outside Charleston, is the country's largest producer of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which is a key component of clothing, home textiles, carpets, plastic bottles and thousands of other items.
When signing the bill in February, Gov. Henry McMaster said South Carolina business now know what they can expect going into the future.
"One thing we always want to convey to people looking to invest in our state is that they know what they're getting when they come to South Carolina; they're not going to be vexed with unnecessary complaints and lawsuits,” McMaster said in a statement. “One of the things that has troubled some is nuisance lawsuits that have no basis. So what we're doing is making the pre-existing common law even more clear to say that as long as a business is following all the rules and has all the permits and documentation that it needs to have, someone who moves near that plant or facility can't start complaining that it is there doing what it is licensed to do.”