South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Carolina Bays Parkway

SCELP is local counsel working with the Southern Environmental Law Center to represent the SC Coastal Conservation League and the Waccamaw Audubon Society in a potential suit for violations under the Clean Water Act that occurred during construction of Phase I of the Carolina Bays Parkway.

The Army Corps of Engineers and OCRM issued the Department of Transportation permits to fill over 200 acres of wetlands for the construction of the parkway. No permits to excavate wetlands and use this material for fill were issued and almost another 90 acres of wetlands were destroyed with no state or federal review, in violation of the law. The groups are asking DOT to compensate for the destruction of these wetlands and to assure that the same damage will not occur in Phase II of the Parkway.

A settlement of this case was finalized in September 2005. The settlement establishes a process for review of future large highway projects involving borrow pits impacting wetlands. Three hundred acres of mitigation credits from the Sandy Island Mitigation Bank were retired to resolve wetland issues related to the Carolina Bays Parkway.