Natural Resources

Natural Resources

Current Issues:

Webinars: Combatting Climate Change: It's Now or Never

Presented by Ted Volskay, Co-Chair, LWVSC Environmental Policy Working Group, this webinar series helps us better understand climate change, explains the latest assessment of threats and South Carolina's initiatives, and suggests what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. 

New webinar in the series: Food-Climate Change Nexus
The Food-Climate Change Nexus 1/28/2023
Climate Change 101 (12:31) 5/19/202
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (8:54) [21:25] 5/19/2022
Prehistoric Climate Change (7:33) [28:58] 5/19/2022
SC Climate Change Initiatives (6:15) [35:13] 5/19/2022
Initiatives You Can Take to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (10:19) [45:32] 5/19/2022


1/13/2022 Guest Essay: SC Plutonium Pit Plan Distracts from Our Most Pressing Threat

The federal government has unveiled plans to construct a plutonium pit manufacturing plant at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, a decision the League of Women Voters of South Carolina opposes.

Energy Department resources committed to the construction of the processing facility would be better spent on research and investment into renewable energy, sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions, and other efforts to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, combating climate change with haste should be our highest national security priority. Read the article. 


2021 Savannah River Site Waste

Neither South Carolina’s environment, the U.S., its economy, nor our world, needs these pits, nor the new deployment devices to deliver pits.  What we all need are solid international non-proliferation policies and treaties, in line with existing LWVUS policies.  We now have a plan to clean up the Savannah River Site in the next 20 years. Read the article. 

2021 Plastics

Do you feel “green” when you recycle plastic waste with the following symbol?  Not so fast. The petrochemical plastics industry hopes that you do.  They hope that environmentally conscious consumers will feel “green” so that they will continue to buy plastic products because it has the 100% RECYCLABLE label.  Although plastic products with the 100% RECYCLABLE label may “technically” be recyclable, they will not be recycled if recycling is not economically feasible.  An internal 1973 plastics manufacturing report cited in the PBS Frontline Plastic Wars concludes that “the cost of new plastic is so low that sorting and reprocessing used plastic cannot be justified economically”.  

This conclusion appears as valid 47 years later.  According to Plastic Wars, it is estimated that 90% of plastic wastes will never be recycled, including plastics embossed with the 100% RECYCLABLE symbol.  



LWVSC supports:

1.  Ensuring to the citizens of South Carolina the fullest possible public participation in significant state and federal decisions relative to environmental and energy matters. This should include but is not limited to, hearings in the state capital and in all locally affected areas.
2.  Ensuring that federal facilities located in South Carolina comply with state and federal environmental laws.
3.  Independent safety oversight at federal nuclear facilities.
4.  Development and implementation of state solid and hazardous waste policies that protect groundwater, air quality, human health, and native biota.
5.  Strong and well-enforced coastal zone management laws and regulations to ensure the preservation of areas of critical concern. The coastal zone should be given a greater level of legal protection.
6.  Establishing one state governmental agency (or investing in an existing agency) with the power to develop and implement energy policies that would give appropriate consideration to all energy-generating sources. The citizens of SC should be represented in this proposed energy policy-making agency.
7.  An environmental impact process for South Carolina that would mirror the national process, promote our overarching goal as stated above and ensure the fullest possible public participation.
8.  Changes in the state’s natural resource agencies and overall management that would best meet the criteria established under #1 and #4 Structure of State Government position.
9.  Changes in state law to remove the mandate for the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to carry out conflicting missions: protection of public health and the environment and promotion of economic development. Similar changes should be made in the SC Atomic Energy Act.
10.  Establishing criteria for membership on the DHEC board to ensure varied expertise, representation of South Carolina’s varied stakeholders, and freedom from conflict of interest.
11.  Promoting land use and water resource policies that manage land, water, and nature biota as finite resources and that incorporate principles of stewardship and other land use planning strategies at both the state and local level.
12.  Requiring state officials to incorporate environmental compliance history as a criterion for awarding permits.
13.  Intentional and collaborative growth management on a county and regional basis in South Carolina. We encourage regular consultations among public agencies related to growth and development and local elected bodies—city councils, county councils, and school boards. We also encourage open and frequent dialogue between those agencies and the general public on growth management. We support the concept of managing growth to preserve and enhance the quality of life for all residents, old and new, through the effective and coordinated use of such land use management tools as conservation easements, purchase of development rights, development impact fees, and zoning where appropriate.