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This week at the State House

We had a short, yet busy, week at the State House because of the winter weather.

This week, Eleanor Kitzman withdrew from consideration for DHEC director. Thank you again for adding your voice to the more than 1,000 people who called for the Senate to ask the DHEC Board to conduct a public, open search for the next director. Together, we showed the Senate that the public cares about their “advice and consent” role. Now, we look forward to a full search from the DHEC Board.

We still need help from you with action on important issues that will be coming up soon:

  1. The Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee passed S.228 (DHEC Board Review) and S.229 (Polluter Amnesty) to the full Medical Affairs Committee. We expect a full committee vote soon, so please contact your Senator on the committeeWe oppose both bills because they will erode our ability to hold polluters accountable.
  2. We support attempts to implement recommendations of the DHEC Blue Ribbon Committee on Shoreline Management (BRC) in H.3378, introduced by Rep. Herbkersman. We will fight attempts to diverge from the BRC recommendations with amendments to protect special interests, like Kiawah developers, and are closely monitoring S.139 in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. We support a clean version of S.139. We hope we can manage our shoreline with a common sense approach.
  3. As a member of the SC Rivers Forever Coalition, we worked with our partners and legislative champions to introduce H.3564, to reform the Surface Water Withdrawal Act. Our current law does not require permits for large agriculture withdrawals like it does for municipal and industrial withdrawals. Agricultural users register their withdrawals without the environmental safeguards required of others. This process is not protective of our rivers and gives DHEC and DNR little to no authority to manage our river systems wisely. We propose in H.3564 to treat all large users pulling water from our rivers the same.  We should have a fair system that doesn’t pick the winners and the losers. Please tell your Representative to support H.3564 and check out our campaign: www.scriversforever.org.

We are also a member of the Conservation Coalition, and hope you’ll check out our priority issues and action alerts at our website.

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