South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Colleton County

Colleton County´s proposed Buzz Aldrin Business and Technology Park requested to fill in almost 30 acres of isolated freshwater wetlands for a commercial development. SCELP asked DHEC to deny the permit because it was entirely inconsistent with coastal protection laws, and the agency did in fact deny the permit. Colleton County appealed, challenging the validity of the Coastal Management Program – a program designed to protect isolated wetlands in the coastal zone.

SCELP, representing six environmental groups – the S.C. Wildlife Federation, the S.C. Coastal Conservation League, the S.C. League of Women Voters ("LWV"), along with 3 local LWV chapters – filed a motion to intervene to assist the agency in defending this permit denial. Although initially it appeared that the Administrative Law Judge was not going to allow us to participate, we persuaded him that the attack on the Coastal Management Program was significant, and asked him to reconsider.

After Colleton County saw that SCELP might be allowed to intervene to defend the program, they began negotiations to settle the appeal. Colleton County has now withdrawn their challenge to the program, and the Coastal Management Program remains in full force and effect to protect isolated wetlands.