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4099Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19990513Primary Sponsor: J.H. NealAll Sponsors: J.H. Neal, Cobb-Hunter, Breeland, J. Hines, Howard, Lloyd, Seithel and WhipperDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\psd\7479ac99.docCompanion Bill Number: 800Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Com 20 HANRSubject: Pollution Control Act, Health and Environmental Control Department, ConservationHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19990513 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to Committee Versions of This Bill
TO AMEND SECTION 48-1-20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DECLARATION OF LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE UNDER THE POLLUTION CONTROL ACT, SO AS TO REVISE THIS STATEMENT OF PURPOSE; BY ADDING SECTION 44-1-25 SO AS TO REQUIRE AND PROVIDE PROCEDURES FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO REVIEW THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR'S APPOINTEES TO THE BOARD OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL; BY ADDING SECTION 48-1-25 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A LONG RANGE STRATEGY FOR PRESERVING AND PROTECTING THE STATE'S NATURAL RESOURCES AND TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO PREPARE A DETAILED STATEMENT ON THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THIS STRATEGY; TO AMEND SECTION 44-1-20, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE CREATION OF THE DEPARTMENT AND BOARD OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, SO AS TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN FACTORS THAT MUST BE CONSIDERED IN APPOINTING MEMBERS TO THE BOARD; AND TO AMEND SECTION 48-1-50, RELATING TO THE POWERS OF THE DEPARTMENT UNDER THE POLLUTION CONTROL ACT, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO REVIEW AND CONSIDER THE PAST ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE HISTORY OF AN APPLICANT WHEN MAKING A PERMIT DECISION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 44-1-20 of the 1975 Code, as last amended by Act 181 of 1993, is further amended to read:
"Section 44-1-20. There is hereby created the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control which shall be administered under the supervision of the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control. The board shall consist of seven members, one from each congressional district, and one from the State at large to be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate. The member who is appointed at large shall serve as the chairman of the board. The Governor may remove the chairman of the board pursuant to Section 1-3-240(B); however, the Governor may only remove the other board members pursuant to Section 1-3-240(C). The terms of the members shall be for four years and until their successors are appointed and qualify, except that of the original appointees, three shall be appointed for two years and four shall be appointed for four years. All vacancies shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term only. In making these appointments, these factors must be considered to ensure appropriate qualifications to serve: demonstrated commitment to the mission of the department and training and experience as a health care provider or in health care financing or health care insurance or as a health care consumer or training and experience in one or more of the following disciplines: the natural sciences, the health effects of environmental pollution, toxicology, epidemiology, environmental law, water and air pollution control, ecology, environmental engineering, geology, hydrogeology, marine biology, and environmental conservation. Race, gender, and other demographic factors
should also must be considered to ensure nondiscrimination, inclusion, and representation to the greatest extent possible of all segments of the population of the State; however, consideration of these factors in making an appointment in no way creates a cause of action or basis for an employee grievance for a person appointed or for a person who fails to be appointed."
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-1-25. (A) The General Assembly shall review the qualifications of the Governor's appointees to the Board of Health and Environmental Control and shall conduct a public hearing concerning the qualifications of the appointees. All testimony, including documents furnished to the General Assembly, must be submitted under oath and persons knowingly furnishing false information either orally or in writing are subject to the penalties provided by law for perjury and false swearing.
(B) As soon as possible after the completion of the hearing, a verbatim copy of the testimony, documents submitted at the hearing, and findings of fact must be transcribed and published or otherwise made available in a reasonable number of copies to the members of the Senate, and a copy must be furnished to each appointee and anyone else upon request. A charge for these copies may be made as authorized in the Freedom of Information Act.
(C) The General Assembly shall render its tentative findings as to the qualifications of the appointees to the board and its reasons as to the findings relative to each appointee no later than thirty days after a hearing is held.
(D) An appointee may withdraw at any stage of the proceedings and in this event no further inquiry, report on, or consideration of the appointee may be made."
SECTION 3. The 1976 code is amended by adding:
"Section 48-1-25. (A) In order to promote the protection of the environment, the department shall develop and implement a long range strategy for preserving and protecting the state's natural resources for future use, recognizing the need to plan for sustainable development. The long range strategy shall include, but is not limited to, an assessment of the quality of the environment, environmental protection goals and objectives, and a plan of action to achieve these goals and objectives. The plan must be developed through public participation and in consultation with appropriate interested parties and must be updated annually.
(B) For every major action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, the department shall prepare a detailed statement on the costs and benefits of the proposed action including the impacts of the action on the natural and human environment and means for mitigating or avoiding adverse impacts when making permit decisions required by law. In evaluating the impact, the department shall follow federal National Environmental Policy Act precedent, federal Council on Environmental Quality Guidelines, and the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. The department shall encourage public participation in its decision making process in a manner no less inclusive than that required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency under its public policy regulations (40 CFR Part 25) and in accordance with the South Carolina Administrative Procedures Act."
SECTION 4. Section 48-1-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 48-1-20. It is declared to be the public policy of the State to
maintain reasonable standards of purity of the air and water resources of the State, consistent with the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, maximum employment, the industrial development of the State, protect public health, safety, and welfare, the quality of the natural environment, and the purity of the air and water resources of the State; to ensure the propagation and protection of terrestrial and marine flora and fauna, and the protection of physical property and other resources; and to advocate responsible stewardship of South Carolina's environment. It is further declared that to secure these purposes and the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall have authority to abate, control and prevent pollution."
SECTION 5. Section 48-1-50 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding an appropriately numbered item at the end to read:
"( ) 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 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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