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5121Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20020411Primary Sponsor: J.H. NealAll Sponsors: J.H. NealDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\nbd\11505ac02.docResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Com 20 HANRSubject: Natural resources, DHEC to implement long-range strategy for preserving and protectingHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 20020411 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to Committee Versions of This Bill
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, 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, TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT IN EVERY MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING ACTION TO CERTIFY THAT THE ACTIVITY OR PROJECT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT'S LONG-RANGE STRATEGY, TO PROVIDE AREAS OF CONSIDERATION BY THE DEPARTMENT IN TAKING SUCH PERMITTING ACTION, AND TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO PROMOTE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ITS DECISION-MAKING PROCESS BY PROVIDING PUBLIC NOTICE OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 44-1-20, 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. 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 environment and public health for future use, recognizing the need to plan for sustainable development. The long-range strategy must 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 state agencies exercising jurisdiction over natural resources. The department, in developing this long-range strategy, shall make every effort to utilize, not duplicate and properly reference existing information which may be developed and provided by other entities for planning purposes. The plan must be revised every five years. The department in developing this long-range strategy may:
(1) evaluate those resources under the department's jurisdiction in terms of their quality, quantity, and capability for use both now and in the future;
(2) cooperate with other government agencies in an inventory and designation of areas of critical state concern that are significant natural environmental, industrial, and recreational areas;
(3) establish broad guidelines for programs under the department's jurisdiction on priority of uses in critical areas;
(4) provide for a review process of the long-range strategy plan that involves local, regional, state, and federal agencies and the public;
(5) conduct other studies and surveys as may be required in formulating the plan;
(6) devise a method to streamline and simplify the permitting process, so as to avoid duplication.
(B) For every major environmental permitting action, the department shall certify that such permitted activity or project is consistent with the department's long-range strategy developed pursuant to subsection (A).
(C) For every major environmental permitting action, the department may:
(1) evaluate the potential for cumulative and secondary environmental impacts of the permitted activity or project;
(2) consider whether the permitted activity or project would disproportionately impact low-income and minority persons;
(3) require the permit applicant to certify consistency with local plans and ordinances;
(4) require an applicant to demonstrate consistency with relevant state plans as applicable.
(D) The department shall promote public participation in its decision-making process by providing notice. The department shall provide timely and effective public notification of the receipt of environmental permit applications by such means as may be determined by the department. The department may require a permit applicant to notify affected members of the public. The department may use, but is not limited to, these methods of notification:
(1) publishing a notice of receipt of a permit application in a local paper;
(2) posting a notice in the area of a permitted activity;
(3) contacting nonprofit and civic organizations in the area of the permitted activity;
(4) mailing written notice to residents and property owners in the area of the permitted activity or project;
(5) mailing written notice to persons and organizations requesting notification of environmental permit applications received by the department.
(E) The department shall promulgate regulations to implement this section."
SECTION 2. Section 44-1-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-1-20. There is
hereby created the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, which shall must 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 are for four years and until their successors are appointed and qualify, except that of the original appointees, three shall must be appointed for two years and four shall must be appointed for four years. All vacancies shall must be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term only. In making these appointments, consideration must be given to whether the individual has demonstrated a commitment to the mission of the department and has training and experience as a health care provider or in health care financing or health care insurance or as a health care consumer advocate or has training and experience in the natural sciences, the health effects of environmental pollution, toxicology, epidemiology, environmental law, water and air pollution control, ecology, environmental engineering, geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, marine biology, or environmental conservation or in any combination of these areas. 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 3. 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. The department may also consider repeat violations when determining compliance and enforcement penalties."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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