Navigable Waters

Applications for Permits for Construction in Navigable Waters are now found in ePermitting. See links to the right for instructions.

Navigable Waters - Requirements

Any activity, such as construction, dredging, filling or other alterations, below the mean high water line (tidal waters) or the ordinary high water mark (nontidal waters) in a navigable waterway of South Carolina must first receive a Construction in Navigable Waters Permit. The only navigable waterways in South Carolina where this permit is not required is in tidal areas (also know as critical areas) that are under the direct permitting jurisdiction of DHEC's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management.

A Construction in Navigable Waters Permit may be required even when a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is not required. A separate Construction in Navigable Waters Permit is not required for activities which require another DHEC permit or certification, including but not limited to 401 Water Quality Certifications, water supply permits, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, wastewater construction permits, and mining permits. These permitting/certification areas will coordinate with the Construction in Navigable Waters Permitting staff to insure the provisions of this regulation are adhered to.

General Permits

The Bureau, using procedures established under State Regulation 19-450 Permits For Construction In Navigable Waters, has issued general permits (or GPs) to agencies, political subdivisions, public service corporations, and the general public for certain clearly described categories of activities or substantially similar activities in particular Navigable Waters across the State. GPs have expiration dates and may be reissued, modified, suspended or revoked, in whole or in part.

Current Navigable Waters General Permits

SC GP 2007-001 (Revised Oct 2023)

(General Public) Statewide general permit for construction, installation, maintenance and/or repair of piers, floating docks (including joint use and community docks), boat lifts, mooring piles, dolphins, covered boat sheds and dock covers, for private non-commercial. 

SC GP 98-002

(Public Utility Companies) Statewide general permit for installation of utility lines including but not limited to phone, electricity, cable, television, natural gas, water, and sewer by directional boring, and by aerial crossing, but limited to electrical transmission and distribution lines only.

SC GP 2009-001

(General Public) General Permit for authorization, subject to the general and special conditions contained herein, activities that are subject to permitting by the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and quality for nationwide permits (NWP) issued by the Corps where such activities have been certified by the Department in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and are in accordance with all conditions pursuant to the certification. Some NWP contained herein are subject to Section 10 navigable waters only and the 401 Certification is not applicable. 

SC GP 2009-001

(South Carolina Department of Transportation) General permit for the replacement, rehabilitation and /or retrofitting of material and design to bridge structures and box culverts in such a manner as to restore or maintain its usefulness, increase safety or extend the life of the structure or its purpose. Bridge replacement is defined as any project that involves the construction of a new bridge on the same location as an existing bridge or the total removal of the superstructure or more of an existing bridge. Bridge rehabilitation, refurbishment or retrofitting is anything less in scope than replacement. Bridge replacement on new location is not authorized by this General Permit. Bridge replacement on new location id defined as any bridge that extends more than 150 feet perpendicular to an existing bridge structure, centerline to centerline.