H. 3653 sought to give industries immunity from nuisance suits from their neighbors. Nuisance laws allow citizens to take legal action to protect their property and quality of life from excessive light, noise and odor pollution that comes from neighboring industrial sites. The conservation community opposed this bill because it limited the rights of citizens to take action and protect their families and property from pollution by giving immunity to industries from nuisance suits.
H.3653 was introduced by Forrester (R-Spartanburg), Yow (R-Chesterfield), Loftis (R-Greenville), Henegan (D-Marlboro), Spires (R-Lexington), Anderson (D-Georgetown), Burns (R-Greenville), V.S. Moss (R-Cherokee), Crawford (R-Horry) and several others.
After several unsuccessful attempts at amendments to reduce the impact of the bill led by Rep. Clary (R-Clemson), the bill ultimately passed the House by a vote of 78-27.
In the Senate, the bill was placed on special order to overcome the objection of Senator Bright-Matthews and others.
Once the bill was up for debate, Senator Sheheen filibustered the bill, aided by Senators Campsen, Davis, Fanning, Hutto, Kimpson, Martin, and Bright-Matthews. Through their efforts, the bill was amended and its impacts greatly reduced, but still put property owners in a weak position against polluting industrial neighbors. On January 31, 2018, the Senate passed the amended version of H.3653 by a vote of 29-14. The House agreed with the Senate amendments and sent the bill to the Governor.
The bill was signed into law by the Governor on February 12, 2018.
- This is an Anti-Conservation Bill.
- The Pro-Conservation Vote was NO for the bill’s passage in the House and in the Senate
- The bill passed the House in 2017, an amended version passed the Senate in 2018 and was agreed to by the House, and the bill was signed into law by the Governor in 2018