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.

Upcoming “Lean and Green Manufacturing Workshop”

EPA Region 4 and the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP) are teaming up in May and June to offer a two-day “Lean and Green Manufacturing Workshop.” The workshop will provide “E3 (Economy, Energy, Environment) Onsite Training to implement Lean/Clean/Energy improvements” across an organization’s operations.

Amendments to Energy Independence and Sustainable Construction Act

Amendments to the Energy Independence and Sustainable Construction Act allow major state-funded facility projects in South Carolina can seek a waiver of requirements to meet certain LEED standards should the Office of State Engineer “determine that the costs of meeting this item are not economically feasible.”

Healthy Food Access: An Economic Development Issue

Federal and state agencies as well as private organizations such as the Urban Land Institute are focusing on how addressing “food deserts” by bringing a full-service grocery store into neighborhoods can create jobs, provide an anchor for other commercial development, increase property values, and address health concerns.

SCDHEC Issues Daily Ozone Forecasts

Beginning this month, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC”) is issuing daily forecasts for ground-level ozone.

State Legislative Update

The South Carolina General Assembly is in the middle of its 2014 term, which is scheduled to end on June 5.  Legislators are considering a number of bills that have environmental implications. A few of the more significant bills are highlighted below.

Proposed EPA Rule Could Expand Protection of SC Wetlands

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a proposed rule on March 25, 2014, addressing the scope of the Clean Water Act, specifically the Act’s key definition of the term “waters of the United States.”

Green Infrastructure: Benefits to Private Property Owners

A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council entitled The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value highlights that an investment in green infrastructure has a wide-range of benefits for private, commercial property owners’ bottom line.

EPA Proposes Changes to Agricultural Worker Protection Standard

Last revised in 1992, EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is intended to protect the nation’s 2 million agricultural workers from risks that accompany the use of pesticides. EPA has recently rolled out for public comment a proposed set of changes to the WPS.

EPA Annual Report Shows Downward Trend in Enforcement Actions

Earlier this month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report on enforcement and compliance actions. The report chronicles fiscal year 2013 and highlights the $5.6 billion in fines, restitution, civil penalties, and court-ordered projects EPA collected through civil and criminal actions.

EPA Issues Final Rule Authorizing the Use of Electronic Manifests for Hazardous Wastes

Earlier this month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule authorizing the use of electronic manifests to track the off-site shipment of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.