1. Ensuring to the citizens of South Carolina 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 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 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 of 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 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 an 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 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.
Related national positions: Natural Resources (all).