South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Focus Area: Landfills, Nuclear and Toxic Waste

Landfills, Nuclear and Toxic Waste Focus Area


Our work in this area addresses the over-abundance of solid waste landfills in our state and seeks to strengthen the regulatory review process for permitting such facilities. We also seek to improve hazardous and radioactive nuclear waste management.

  • Pickens County/MRR

    SCELP is representing Pickens County and its citizens in fighting for health, safety, and self-determination in relation to coal ash. The County had worked closely with a landfill company over a period of years to develop and approve a plan for construction of a “class 2” landfill, so that local citizens and businesses would have a place to dispose of materials from land clearing, yard work, and construction, such as: brush and limbs, logs, rock, masonry, glass, and pipes.

  • Chem Nuclear Landfill

    This is the on-going appeal of the renewal license for the low level radioactive waste landfill near Barnwell. The Chem Nuclear landfill has a convoluted history and is a symbol of SC’s status as the nation’s dumping ground. Opened in 1971, it is one of three low-level radioactive waste landfills in the country. It was limited to regional use and slated for closure in 1992, but the closure deadline was extended twice by former Governor Carroll Campbell, and then former Governor David Beasley scrapped the planned closure and opened the facility to the entire nation.

  • Safety-Kleen/Laidlaw Landfill

    After over 15 years of legal proceedings, in 2000 SCELP finally won the Sierra Club's appeal of the permit for the hazardous waste landfill located on the shores of Lake Marion in Sumter County, and the landfill has since been shut down.



Oakridge Landfill

OCRM has issued a water quality certification and coastal zone consistency certification to Waste Management to perform work associated with the massive expansion of Oakridge Landfill located in Dorchester County. Particularly, Waste Management...

Charlotte Sludge Case

DHEC recently granted the City of Charlotte a permit to dump its sewage sludge across thousands of acres of agricultural fields in Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster and York Counties. “Sludge” is the solid byproduct of wastewater treatment, and it...

EAGLE Landfill

The landfill at issue in this case was proposed by MRR Highway 92, LLC, a North Carolina company, and would have been located in the town of Gray Court, a small community in Laurens County. SCELP represented an ad hoc group called Engaging and...

Plum Island Expansion

We challenged a permit that would authorize the construction of 2,150 feet of force main pipe that would carry sewage over critical area salt marsh. The project is part of Charleston Water System's plans to fill in 8 to 10 acres of salt marsh to...

Marlboro County Landfill

MRR Sandhills, LLC, proposes to build a municipal solid waste landfill on the North Carolina border in Marlboro County. DHEC has issued two preliminary approvals: (1) demonstration of need; and (2) consistency with the county solid waste...

Williamsburg County Landfill

DHEC issued two decisions: (1) modifying the permit for the existing county landfill to raise its annual disposal rate to 400,000 tons per year, and (2) approving a “demonstration of need” for a new landfill also at 400,000 tons per year. We...

York Landfill

C & D Management Company applied for and obtained a permit to construct a construction and demolition waste landfill in the City of Rock Hill. York County and a local resident, Barbara Polk, appealed. Barbara Polk later withdrew as a party and...

Savannah River Site

We challenged a Savannah River Site (SRS) permit to dispose of thousands of gallons of high-level radioactive waste in 49 underground tanks, holding millions of gallons of salt waste. As a result of our permit appeal, we achieved improved...

Allendale Landfill

SCELP represented Sierra Club and its Allendale County members in opposing permits for a new landfill, proposed at the site of an old landfill with existing groundwater contamination problems. Fortunately the plans for the proposed landfill were...

Nuclear Laundry

In December 1996, DHEC’s Bureau of Radiological Health renewed the license permitting Interstate Nuclear Services (“INS”) to operate a commercial laundry for the laundering of radioactive contaminated garments, equipment and protective devices....

Tyger River Incinerator

For over seven years SCELP pursued a citizen suit seeking penalties and correction of more than one thousand violations of the Clean Water Act involving excess discharges of mercury and other toxic substances into the North Tyger River from...

ThermalKEM Incinerator

After a six-year legal battle, SCELP and its allies prevailed when ThermalKEM closed its hazardous waste incinerator and gave up its quest to build a second one. ThermalKEM had burned toxic waste in Rock Hill for years, and wanted to expand its...

IP/Dioxin

In the mid-1980's, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) learned that some paper mills were discharging dioxin into streams with the mills' wastewater. In 1988, EPA conducted a comprehensive study of the effluent of all 104 of the nation's...