Associated Press Published

Bill to Limit Nuisance Lawsuits OK'd

West Virginia senators have cleared a bill to limit nuisance lawsuits by residents, including cases against oil and natural drillers for increased traffic, kicked-up dust, noise and bright lights.

Senators favored the measure in a 20-12 vote Tuesday. It heads to the House.

The proposal would require rejecting nuisance lawsuits that don’t allege a violation of a law, regulation, ordinance, permit, license or court decision.

Residents would have to give 60 days’ notice before filing suit.

Opponents have said the bill unfairly strips protections from citizens living near oil and natural gas drilling operations, since environmental permits don’t address issues like smell, noise and dust.

They say the bill could have wider implications, ranging from living by oil and gas sites to strip clubs.

Proponents said the bill strikes a balance.