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.

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.

EPA’s EnviroAtlas Tool Provides Interactive Ecosystem Mapping

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched EnviroAtlas, a web-based interactive tool that allows the public to explore the nation’s ecosystems and the impacts that humans have on them. EnviroAtlas contains an interactive map of the United States that allows users to choose from over 300 data filters to overlay on the map, providing the opportunity to customize the map to show information about the air, water, landscape, population density, social demographics, and other ecological and social data for communities.

EPA Awards $1.5 Million in Brownfields Grants to South Carolina Communities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on May 28 that it was awarding $1.5 million in brownfields grants to assist South Carolina communities with the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties. As we have previously discussed on this blog, brownfields are urban properties formerly used for commercial or industrial purposes that may contain contamination and may require cleanup before being redeveloped.

EPA Issues Reminder about Regulations Addressing Releases in Emergency Shutdowns

With hurricane season rapidly approaching, EPA has taken the opportunity to remind owners and operators of industrial facilities of laws and regulations that address chemical releases during shutdowns.