South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

S.C. Supreme Court orders rehearing on Surface Water Withdrawal Act
September 29th, 2017

By Christina Cleveland

The South Carolina Supreme Court on Friday agreed to rehear challenges to the Surface Water Withdrawal Act brought by several property owners represented by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, or SCELP.

The property owners are James Jefferson Jowers Sr., Andrew J. Anastos, Ben Williamson, Melanie Ruhlman and Anthony Ruhlman, according to a news release issued by Amelia Thompson, staff attorney for the S.C. Environmental Law Project.

The act allows the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to regulate the withdrawal of water from rivers and lakes for those using 3 million gallons a month or more.

SCELP is challenging the act when it comes to so-called mega farmers, who Thompson says are given an agricultural exemption. Several Aiken County residents in recent years have raised concerns over the water usage of large farm operations in the eastern portion of the County, particularly of the Edisto River.

The court has not yet set a date for rehearing, according to the release.

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