Thank you for taking action and joining us in subcomittee meetings last week. It was a week to remember. We hope that the Plastic Bag Ban and the House Auto stay bill are “dead” for the legislative session, but we will remain vigilant. While we didn’t get to testify on all of our bills, it’s important to remember that the delay of bad environmental bills last week counts as a victory. We’ll keep you posted about when we need help again as the legislative session continues. There’s still time for anything to happen!
Bottle Deposit Bill: Wow. The lego teams in SC are really making an impact at the State House through this year’s “waste management theme!” The lego team from Clover’s Oakridge Middle School, “the Diplomats,” is advocating for the “South Carolina Beverage Container Recycling Act” (H.5207) as introduced last week by Representatives Tommy Pope and James Smith. This bill will allow local jurisdictions to implement a bottle deposit program to incentivize recycling with the help of the Department of Revenue and DHEC.
Protecting Lake Conestee Nature Park: After about two years of pursuing recognition of Lake Conestee Nature Park as a “Wildlife Sanctuary” in state statutes (like Beidler Forest and numerous other properties around the state) our friends at the Conestee Foundation have H.4743, introduced by Representatives Eric Bedingfield and Chandra Dillard. After passing the House, this bill was heard in the Senate Fish Game and Forestry Subcommittee last week. This passed out of subcommitte and is headed for full committee passage hopefully this week.
Impacts from Mine Blasting: As many communities adjacent to mining operations can attest, we need stronger mining laws. We are grateful for Rep. Kennedy and Senator Massey (and co-sponsors) for supporting legislation in both the House and Senate to require minimum distances from communities when conducting blasting at mines. We will be joining Sierra Club and Sustainable Midlands in a Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee this week to support S.684.