South Carolina Legislature


 

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H 4419
Session 109 (1991-1992) 

H 4419 General Bill, By K.G. Kempe, R.A. Barber, D.W. Beatty, Cobb-Hunter, 
K.S. Corbett, Cork, J.L.M. Cromer, Harrison, H.H. Keyserling, S.G. Manly, 
J.T. McElveen, T.F. Rogers and C.Y. Waites
 A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Chapter 2
 to Title 48 so as to establish environmental compliance history requirements
 for South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control permits
 including authorizing the Department to review and consider the environmental
 compliance history of a permit applicant or person, to require the filing of a
 disclosure statement, and to charge and collect a fee pursuant to regulation
 for conducting background investigations.

   02/13/92  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-29
   02/13/92  House  Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural
                     Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-30



A BILL

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 2 TO TITLE 48 SO AS TO ESTABLISH ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE HISTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL PERMITS INCLUDING AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT TO REVIEW AND CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE HISTORY OF A PERMIT APPLICANT OR PERSON, TO REQUIRE THE FILING OF A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT, AND TO CHARGE AND COLLECT A FEE PURSUANT TO REGULATION FOR CONDUCTING BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Title 48 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 2

Environmental Protection Compliance

Section 48-2-10. For purposes of this chapter:

(1) `Applicant' means a person applying for a permit.

(2) `Department' means the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and its authorized representatives.

(3) `Key employee' means a person employed by the applicant or person in a supervisory capacity or empowered to make discretionary decisions with respect to the activity that is subject to review.

(4) `Permit' means any permit, license, certificate, certification, registration, or entitlement.

(5) `Person' means an individual, partnership, copartnership, cooperative, firm, company, public or private corporation, trust, estate, joint structure company, or any other legal entity and its legal representative, agent, or assigns, including officers, directors, partners, key employees, and persons holding a controlling interest.

Section 48-2-20. The department may review and consider the environmental compliance history of an applicant or person in making a determination to issue, reissue, deny, revoke, modify, or suspend a permit or interim status, prohibit the transfer of a permit or the transfer or achievement of interim status, or prohibit a change in ownership or controlling interest in an existing facility.

Section 48-2-30. (A) To assist in making a determination regarding the environmental compliance history of an applicant or person, the department may require an applicant or person to file a disclosure statement with the department. The disclosure statement must contain the following information with regard to the applicant or person:

(1) the full name, business address, date of birth, and social security number of the applicant or person;

(2) the full name and business address of any holding company, parent holding company, or subsidiary company of the applicant or person;

(3) a complete description of the experience and credentials, including past and present environmental permits or licenses, held by the applicant or person within the preceding five years;

(4) a complete listing and explanation of any administrative enforcement actions, including the issuance of notices of violations, administrative orders, consent orders, or permit revocations, against the applicant or person within the preceding five years;

(5) a complete listing and explanation of any judgment of liability or conviction which was rendered pursuant to a state or federal environmental statute or local environmental ordinance against the applicant or person within the preceding five years;

(6) a complete listing of agencies outside of South Carolina that have or had environmental regulatory responsibility over the applicant or person within the preceding five years.

(B) When the information contained in the disclosure statement or information otherwise available to the department indicates the presence of multiple past environmental administrative enforcement actions or judgments of liability or convictions, the department may conduct a background investigation of the applicant or person and may request the assistance of other agencies or services in the conduct of the investigation. The department also may request a criminal history record search at the state and federal level by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) if the information available to the department indicates the presence of multiple past environmental administrative enforcement actions or judgments of liability or convictions. In conducting the search, SLED may request and receive criminal history information from various sources including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An applicant or person has the continuing duty to provide assistance or information requested by the department or SLED, including the submission of a complete set of fingerprints taken by any authorized law enforcement agency. Fingerprints must be submitted on the standard applicant fingerprint card approved by SLED.

(C) The department may charge and collect a fee that must not exceed the administrative expense of conducting the background investigation. If SLED has conducted a criminal history record search for the department, the department shall charge a fee in an amount set by SLED to cover the cost of the criminal history record search and shall collect and remit the fee to SLED.

Section 48-2-40. The department may require a permit holder or person who has not earlier filed a disclosure statement to file a disclosure statement with the application for permit renewal or upon a change of ownership or controlling interest in an existing facility, or upon the achievement or transfer of interim status of a hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facility. If any of the information required to be included in the disclosure statement changes, or if additional information should be added after filing the statement, the permit holder or person shall provide the information to the department within thirty days of the change or addition. The department may review and consider any new or additional information in making a determination with regard to the status of a permit, the achievement, continuation, or transfer of interim status for a hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facility, and the change in ownership or controlling interest in an existing facility.

Section 48-2-50. (A) The department may deny, revoke, modify, or suspend a permit or interim status, prohibit the transfer of a permit or the transfer or achievement of interim status, or prohibit a change in ownership or controlling interest in an existing facility if it finds that:

(1) the applicant or person has failed to substantially comply with the state's environmental statutes, rules, regulations, permits, and orders applicable to the applicant or person;

(2) the applicant or person has failed to substantially comply with other jurisdictions' environmental statutes, rules, regulations, permits, and orders;

(3) the applicant or person has been convicted in state or federal court of a violation of this state's environmental laws or the environmental laws of other jurisdictions punishable as a misdemeanor or felony;

(4) the applicant or person has been adjudicated in contempt of a court order enforcing a federal or state environmental statute, regulation, rule, or order;

(5) the applicant or person has knowingly misrepresented or concealed a material fact in the permit application or disclosure statement required under this chapter or under regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter;

(6) the applicant or person has obtained or attempted to obtain the permit by misrepresentation or fraud;

(7) the applicant or person has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

(8) the applicant or person has a documented and continuing history of violation of state or federal environmental laws, rules, or regulations, or administrative orders such that the applicant's or person's ability to operate within the law is questionable; or

(9) based upon all the information obtained about the person or applicant, it is not in the best interests of human health and safety or the environment.

(B) In making its finding under this section, the department may consider mitigation based upon the following factors:

(1) the relevance of the offense committed by the applicant or person to the activity for which a permit is sought;

(2) the nature and seriousness of the offense;

(3) the ownership and management structure in place at the time of the offense compared to the current ownership and management structure;

(4) prompt payment of damages;

(5) cooperation with investigations;

(6) termination of employment or other relationship with persons responsible for the activity described in subsection (A);

(7) the establishment of formal controls and environmental auditing programs to enhance compliance and prevent the occurrence of future violations;

(8) if an existing facility has facilities located in other states, the environmental compliance record of the facility located within the State may be afforded greater weight.

Section 48-2-60. The department may promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

Section 48-2-70. The provisions of this chapter are in addition to, and an expansion of, any existing statutory or regulatory authority the department has to review environmental compliance history."

SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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