South Carolina General Assembly
117th Session, 2007-2008

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Bill 3933

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)


May 24, 2007

H. 3933

Introduced by Reps. Mitchell, Whipper, Branham, Cotty, Merrill, Loftis, Clyburn, Anderson, J.H. Neal, McLeod, F.N. Smith, Govan, Brantley, Ott, Alexander, Crawford, Bedingfield, Cato, Hosey, Lucas, Knight, Bingham, Agnew, Allen, Anthony, Bales, Ballentine, Bannister, Barfield, Bowen, Bowers, Brady, Breeland, G. Brown, R. Brown, Ceips, Chellis, Cobb-Hunter, Coleman, Cooper, Dantzler, Davenport, Delleney, Duncan, Edge, Funderburk, Gambrell, Gullick, Hagood, Haley, Hamilton, Hardwick, Harrell, Harrison, Hart, Harvin, Haskins, Hayes, Herbkersman, Hinson, Hiott, Hodges, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Jennings, Kelly, Kennedy, Kirsh, Leach, Limehouse, Littlejohn, Lowe, Mack, Mahaffey, Miller, Moss, Mulvaney, Neilson, Owens, Parks, Perry, Phillips, Pinson, E.H. Pitts, M.A. Pitts, Rutherford, Sandifer, Scarborough, Scott, Sellers, Shoopman, Simrill, Skelton, D.C. Smith, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, J.R. Smith, W.D. Smith, Spires, Stavrinakis, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Toole, Umphlett, Vick, Viers, Walker, Weeks, White, Whitmire, Williams, Witherspoon, Young and Frye

S. Printed 5/24/07--S.

Read the first time April 25, 2007.




Whereas, this State is committed to affording the citizens of this State fair treatment and meaningful involvement in the development, implementation, and enforcement of an environmental law, regulation, or policy regardless of the citizen's race, color, ethnicity, religion, income, or education level; and

Whereas, this State is further committed to promoting the protection of human health and the environment, promoting economic development, revitalization and prosperity for communities, promoting empowerment through public involvement in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental law, regulation, and policy, and the dissemination of information related to the environment to inform and educate the citizens of this State; and

Whereas, environmental justice issues may exist in this State and cause concern and problems for some communities that bear a disproportionate burden of the impact of air and water contamination, noise, population crowding, reduced quality of life, and depressed land and housing values, many of which could be mitigated by better siting decisions and processes; and

Whereas, the cumulative impact of multiple sources of exposure to environmental hazards in these communities, and the roles of multiple agencies in addressing a cause or factor that compromises environmental health and quality of life in these communities require an interagency evaluation; and

Whereas, the federal government has underscored the importance of Environmental Justice in Executive Order 12898 by creating the National Environmental Justice Advisor Council to integrate environmental justice into federal policies, programs, initiatives, and activities; and

Whereas, collaborative problem-solving models are effective in addressing environmental justice issues and in assuring that existing resources are efficiently combined to support economic development and revitalization efforts. Now, therefore,

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

SECTION    1.    (A)    There is created a governmental advisory committee to the Department or Health and Environmental Control named the South Carolina Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. The advisory committee must include the Commissioner, Executive Director, or executive head of each department or such head's designee from the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation, the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Clemson University's Public Service Authority, South Carolina State University's Public Service Authority and the State Ports Authority. The Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee of the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall serve as the chairperson of the advisory committee but shall not have a vote.

(B)    As used in this title, 'environmental justice' means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of a person regardless of his race, color, ethnicity, gender, religion, income, or education level with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of a law, regulation, or policy that impacts the person's environmental health.

(C)    The Department of Health and Environmental Control is the lead agency of the advisory committee and may adopt policies needed to carry out any provision of this section.

(D)    The advisory committee:

(1)    shall study the existing practices at State agencies related to the consideration or environmental justice issues related to economic development and revitalization projects in this State;

(2)    shall study the availability and promotion of public awareness of public health and environmental information in a language other than English and make such recommendations as it deems necessary to ensure that information disseminated to the public by the Department of Health and Environmental Control is available in another language as considered necessary by the advisory committee;

(3)    shall encourage collaborative problem-solving and efficient utilization of all existing resources;

(4)     may consult with any requesting agency of this State to provide input for an environmental justice issue in connection with an economic development or revitalization project in this State during the term of the advisory committee;

(5)    may consult with the National Brownfields Association, South Carolina Chapter, to utilize its expertise in revitalization projects; and

(6)    shall issue a report on the existing practices of state agencies related to environmental justice considerations in economic development and revitalization projects in this State and make any recommendations related to state agency guidelines related to environmental justice considerations in economic development and revitalization projects in this State to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Governor no later than January 1, 2010.

(E)    The South Carolina Environmental Justice Advisory Committee shall exist until January 1, 2010, and may be continued for additional periods as the General Assembly provides by law.

SECTION    2.    This joint resolution is not intended to, nor does it, create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, public or private, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by any person against the State of South Carolina, its agencies, its officers, or any other person. This joint resolution shall not be construed to create any right to judicial review involving the compliance or noncompliance of the State of South Carolina, its agencies, it officers, or any other person with the provisions of this joint resolution.

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


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