South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Nationwide Permit Certification Appeal

Under the Clean Water Act ("CWA"), the Corps of Engineers can issue nationwide permits ("NWP") for activities purportedly having minor impacts to waters and wetlands of the U.S. The CWA also gives DHEC authority to review these nationwide permits under a state certification program and allows DHEC to place additional conditions on them to ensure protection of wetlands. The federal Coastal Zone Management Act gives similar authority to OCRM.

But DHEC and OCRM are trying to give up some of this authority through a proposal to weaken state conditions on 19 of the 44 NWPs. The weakened state certifications would apply state-wide and uniformly increase the alteration of wetlands that could occur with no further public notice, opportunity or input, or chance for appeal.

The Georgetown County League of Women Voters asked SCELP to represent it in appealing the proposed amended certification of these 19 nationwide permits. We asked the Administrative Law Court to reverse the proposed amendments.

This case was successfully settled with DHEC/OCRM agreeing to withdraw their amendments.