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SALUDA SEWER INFORMATION PAGE

The purpose of this web page is to provide information about the possibility of allowing permanent sewage discharges into the Lower Saluda River, Columbia, SC. This is also a plea for you to let your feelings be known. Carolina Water Services has requested a permit amendment that will allow permanent discharges of treated sewage into the Lower Saluda River (See Aerial Photograph).

VICTORY AT THE FIRST STEP

The requested amendment has just been ruled upon (July 30, 2001) by South Carolina DHEC. Go here for DHEC'S ruling and DHEC's reasoning. Go here for a summary of the comments. The commets filed with DHEC were overwhelmingly opposed to the amendment. We cannot sleep! There will probably be an appeal which will be decided by an administrative law judge, then to the full DHEC Board, and then through the court system. The names and contact information for DHEC's board are set forth below. Comments at this point cannot hurt.

For Governor Hodges's response to correspondence from Gerrit Jobsis of American Rivers/South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, click here.

This page is arranged with the first section presenting the factual background, the second section giving a list of discussion points, and then a contact list. Please write (preferred) or email the public officials to let them know how you feel. If permanent discharge is allowed, we will lose a vital opportunity to improve the water quality of this South Carolina Wild and Scenic River.

BACKGROUND

On May 31, 1991, the Legislature designated the section of the Lower Saluda River starting one mile below the Lake Murray Dam to its confluence with the Broad River as a State Scenic River. Carolina Water Services ("Carolina") currently discharges treated sewage into the Lower Saluda River near the Interstate 20 bridge under NPDES # SC0035564 (the "Permit"). If you have paddled the river at low flow rates, you may have seen the sewage bubbling up there. Carolina has requested an amendment to the 208 Regional Water Quality Management Plan that would increase the volume of discharges and allow discharges to continue permanently under the Permit. If the Permit is not amended, discharges must stop. The Lower Saluda River Corridor Plan (the "Plan") was published in 1990. The Plan was the culmination of a planning process by the Saluda River Task Force, a 30-member group representing citizens and interest groups from throughout the area and assisted by what are now the Land, Water and Conservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. The Plan articulated the goal of working with local jurisdictions to consolidate domestic wastewater treatment and eliminating domestic wastewater discharges from the Lower Saluda River. Now, ten years later, in spite of these recommendations, the Central Midlands Council of Governments (the "COG" and the permitting authority) has approved an amendment to the Permit that will give Carolina the right to discharge permanently into the Lower Saluda. The COG describes the requested amendment as follows:

A tricky part of Carolina's argument that should be pointed out in any communications is their claim that the upgrade will improve the water quality over the current situation. This is technically true. However, the whole truth is that water quality will be degraded over what is required by the current Permit because the current Permit requires the discharges to stop. Rerouting to the Cayce Treatment Plant, which is what will have to be done if the Permit is not amended, will result in the sewage being sent to a modern, tertiary plant that is already operating and is a public plant rather than maintaining yet another private treatment plant in the area.

Rerouting to the Cayce plant will still result in sewage discharge into the Congaree, but the sewage will ultimately get to the Congaree anyway if discharged into the Lower Saluda.

COMMUNICATION POINTS

CONTACTS

Please feel to cut and paste anything from this page. I suggest making your letter or email unique and pointing out your personal use of the area if you do, in fact, use it. If you do nothing, we may lose this opportunity to clean up this river.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Commissioner:

C. Earl Hunter
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Board Members

Congressional District
Member
Term Expiration
One
Charleson
Howard L. Brilliant, MD
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2003
Two
Columbia
Carl L. Brazell
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2005
Three
Aiken
Louisianna W. Wright
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2003
Four
Greenville
Mark B. Kent
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2005
Five
Lancaster
L. Michael Blackmon
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2005
Six
Florence
Larry Chewning, DMD
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2003
Member at Large
Chairman
Bradford W. Wyche
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Attn: Clerk of the Board
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
06/30/2001

You may email Commissioner Hunter and the Board members by sending email to culbredd@columb20.dhec.state.sc.us and requesting forwarding. However, I beleive that ordinary mail may be more effective, but, anything is better than nothing.

SOUTH CAROLINA ELECTED OFFICIALS

Governor James H. Hodges

Post Office Box 11829

Columbia SC 29211

Telephone: (803) 734-9400

governor@govoepp.state.sc.us

If you find any errors on this page, please let me (Parkin Hunter) know by email.

Return to Lake Murray Dam Licensing Source Page.