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Title 48 - Environmental Protection and Conservation
THE SOUTH CAROLINA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY UNIT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Creation of State Geological Survey Unit; appointment of State Geologist; qualifications.
The South Carolina Geological Survey Unit is established under the Department of Natural Resources. The State Geologist must be appointed by the Director of the Department of Natural Resources. He must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a full curriculum in geology and had at least five years of practical work experience, academic, governmental, or industrial, in geology.
Powers, duties, property, devolved upon Department of Natural Resources.
The powers and duties provided for the South Carolina Geological Survey of the Division of Research and Statistical Services of the Budget and Control Board are devolved upon the Department of Natural Resources. All equipment and personal services monies, including all employee contributions and other fringe benefits used by the Geological Survey within the Division of Research and Statistical Services of the Budget and Control Board before this section takes effect are transferred to the Department of Natural Resources. The South Carolina Geodetic Survey must remain with the Division of Research and Statistical Services as the South Carolina Geodetic Survey. All property, equipment, and personal services monies, including all employee contributions and other fringe benefits used by the Geodetic Survey, must remain with the Division of Research and Statistical Services.
Powers and duties of State Geologist.
(A) The State Geologist shall:
(1) travel throughout the State so as to make himself familiar with the geology and mineral resources of each section;
(2) undertake field and laboratory work his time permits;
(3) perform other duties that properly pertain to his office.
(B) The department may employ geologists, technicians, and other personnel necessary to conduct the objectives of the unit.
Duties of unit.
In addition to other duties assigned to it, the unit:
(1) shall conduct field and laboratory studies in geologic reconnaissance, mapping, prospecting for mineral resources, and related gathering of surface and subsurface data. Investigative areas include offshore and onshore lands in this State;
(2) shall provide geologic advice and assistance to other state and local governmental agencies engaged in environmental protection or in industrial or economic development projects. In addition, the unit must be involved actively in geologic aspects of regional planning and effective land use in the State;
(3) shall encourage economic development in the State by disseminating published geologic information as bulletins, maps, economic reports, and related series and open-file reports to appropriate governmental agencies and private industry. The unit is encouraged further to initiate and maintain appropriate industrial contacts to promote the extraction and conservation of South Carolina's earth raw materials and their manufacture to the economic improvement of the State;
(4) shall provide unsolicited advice, when appropriate, to the Mining Council and its associated state regulatory agency, on geologic and related mining matters in keeping with the intent of the South Carolina Mining Act;
(5) shall operate and maintain a central, statewide repository for rock cores, well cuttings and related subsurface samples, and all associated supplemental data. Private firms and public agencies are encouraged to notify the unit before exploratory or developmental drilling and coring;
(6) must be the state's official cooperator on topographic mapping. The federal expenditure for this purpose at least must equal that of the State. The unit may conduct cooperative work with appropriate agencies of the United States Government in its geologic activities and investigations;
(7) shall provide a minerals research laboratory related to the identification, extraction, and processing of industrial minerals and minerals of economic potential wherever found throughout the onshore and offshore areas of the State. The minerals research laboratory is encouraged to accept mineral research projects from South Carolina businesses or citizens on a per cost, per unit basis and to encourage expended use of the raw materials of the State. The minerals research laboratory may accept public and private gifts or funds and may enter into cooperative agreements for the purpose of applied research in the metallic and nonmetallic minerals of this State.
Maintenance of files by unit; confidentiality of certain information.
The unit shall maintain all unpublished information in its files which must be open to the public, except in cases where the investigator still has work in progress on a project leading to a publication or where an industrial firm, interested in possibly locating in the State, asks temporary confidential status for oral and written geologic related information supplied by them or obtained on their properties. In the latter instance the information may be held in confidence by the unit for not more than one year from the date the information was obtained.
Impartiality of unit.
The unit shall work impartially for the benefit of the public, and no person, firm, or governmental agency may call upon or require the State Geologist or unit staff to enter upon a special survey for his or their special benefit.