Environmental Matters: A South Carolina Environmental & Sustainability Blog

At Wyche, we strive to keep our clients and friends in the know about all the latest environmental and sustainability news. We hope you'll continue to frequent this blog to find our musings on the ever-changing environmental landscape in South Carolina or subscribe to receive updates as they happen.

A New Building Standard Set to Launch in Late 2014

Commercial, residential and institutional buildings can seek certification under the WELL Building Standard, a standard currently in a pilot phase with performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

South Carolina Legislative Roundup: 2014

The South Carolina Generally Assembly ended its 2014 term in early June, having considered a number of proposed bills with environmental implications. In a March 27th blog post, we summarized several key environmental bills then before the House and Senate. Now that the 2014 term has come to a close, the fate of many of these bills has been determined.

SCDHEC Seeks Input on New General Mining Permit

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (“SCDHEC”) is holding a public hearing and seeking comments on a proposed new Mining General Permit - GP1. This General Permit covers mines of only topsoil or sand/clay that are not located in wetlands or other sensitive environmental or historic areas, that are five acres and a depth of twenty feet or less, and that do not process material.

In Light of Widespread PCB Contamination, ReWa Establishes a General Permit Program for Food Service Establishments

In light of the discovery of PCBs in waste streams throughout SC, including at ReWa, ReWa has announced a permitting program for Food Service Establishments.  Most of the approximately 1,350 Food Service Establishments in ReWa’s service area will be covered under the General Permit.

US Department of Energy Assists Alternative Fuel Vehicle Drivers with Its Fueling Station Locator

If you own an alternative fuel vehicle or are considering purchasing one, the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator can make your life easier.

Supreme Court Sends Mixed Message to EPA on the Agency’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stationary Sources

On June 23, 2014, the US Supreme Court issued an important environmental decision, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, No. 12-1146 (L), which restricts the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting programs.

2014 South Carolina Clean Energy Summit Approaching

The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center will play host to the 2014 South Carolina Clean Energy Summit on July 9, 2014. The Summit will feature “high level moderated sessions” on clean energy topics including policy development, economic development, and emerging technologies.

Supreme Court Agrees that CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statute of Repose

On June 9 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, a case we first blogged about last July (and noted in January that the Supreme Court would be reviewing). The case dealt with the issue of federal preemption, a legal principle under which a federal law invalidates a conflicting state law. In a 7-2 opinion, the Court reversed a decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) did not preempt a North Carolina statute of repose.

EPA Proposes Carbon Limits for Existing Power Plants

Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Clean Power Plan proposal, aimed at cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants. According to EPA, power plants contribute a third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

SC Bill to Expedite Environmental Permit Appeals Fails to Progress

Despite support by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, a bill to expedite environmental permit appeals, H 3827, failed to pass the South Carolina General Assembly this session.