Dominion Energy South Carolina - River Neck to Kingsburg 16-inch Gas Main, aka Pamplico Pipeline - SAC 2019-01427
After reviewing the project plans, DHEC Staff determined that there is a reasonable assurance that the project will be conducted in a manner consistent with the certification requirements of Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act and the permitting requirements of R. 19-450. et. seq., 1976 SC Code of Laws.
The proposed project is a gas main installation known as the River Neck to Kingsburg 16-inch Gas Main. The project consists of the installation of a 16-inch gas main within an approximately 40-foot-wide existing right-of-way (ROW) easement and a 10-foot wide expansion of the ROW easement to the west. The gas main will be installed through a combination of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and open trench excavations. The crossing under Jeffries Creek will be installed by HDD. The proposed project will result in temporary clearing impacts to 6.326 acres of wetlands and 53 linear feet of stream, temporary excavation impacts to 8.35 acres of wetlands and 119 linear feet of stream, permanent fill impacts to 0.0041 acres of wetlands and 22 linear feet (0.0045 acre) of stream, and permanent clearing impacts to 2.986 acres of wetlands and 21 linear feet of stream. Following the initial clearing and placement of the gas main, native material will be placed to match preexisting grade and allowed to revegetate naturally. A smaller portion of the cleared areas within the ROW will be maintained as cleared land for future maintenance. The applicant is not proposing mitigation because the project will result in less than 0.01 acre of permanent fill impact in wetlands and less than 0.005 acre of permanent fill impact in streams. The applicant stated the basic purpose of the proposed project is to install a gas main to support the growth in the area by providing the additional capacity and flexibility to meet the current and anticipated customer demands for natural gas. They stated that the overall purpose is to provide natural gas utilities in Florence County, South Carolina for developments requiring natural gas as an energy supply. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is processing the application for authorization under Nationwide Permit 12, Utility Line Activities (SAC 2019-01427).
The proposed project corridor is located south of the Kingsburg Valve Station located near 2187 Old River Road in Johnsonville, Florence County South Carolina. The corridor is an approximately 14.5-mile long, 50-foot-wide corridor (40 feet of which is within an existing Dominion Energy right-of-way or ROW) located east of North Old River Road and South Old River Road starting near the intersection of River Neck Road and Wross Lane. The proposed pipeline will parallel an existing Dominion Energy South Carolina 8-inch gas pipeline within an existing ROW. The approximate center of the project corridor is located at 34.004307°N, -79.523488°W.
Waters of the U.S. on the project site, including wetlands, drain east through Jeffries Creek, Mills Branch, Bigham Branch, Briar Branch, Barfield Mill Creek, Bullock Branch, and unnamed tributaries to the Great Pee Dee River. The Great Pee Dee River and Jeffries Creek are State navigable waters subject to the permitting jurisdiction of Regulation19-450, Permits for Construction in Navigable Waters (R.19-450).
DHEC 401 Water Quality Certification (401) and review for consistency with R.19-450
DHEC administers the Water Quality Certification Program pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act. Applicants that propose to discharge dredged or fill material into wetlands or waters of the U.S. are required to obtain a Federal Section 404 permit from the Corps. Before the Section 404 permit can be issued, Section 401 of the Act requires the applicant to first obtain a 401 Certification from DHEC. DHEC reviews all applications for 401 Certification in accordance with Regulation 61-101, Water Quality Certification (R.61-101). In accordance with R.61-101, DHEC must consider whether there are feasible alternatives to the activity, if the activity is water dependent, and the intended purpose of the activity as well as all potential water quality impacts of the project.
DHEC is also charged with administering R.19-450, Permits for Construction in Navigable Waters. In accordance with this regulation, 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 Certification. Projects will be reviewed for consistency with R.19-450 concurrently with the 401 Certification review. If necessary, conditions can be added to the 401 Certification to ensure the activity will be conducted in a manner consistent with the requirements of R.19-450.
The public notice and additional information relevant to the certification process is available below:
- DHEC Public Notice of Application, including maps and supplemental information – June 8, 2021
- Comment letter from SC Department of Natural Resources
- Comment letter from Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
- Comment letter from SC Environmental Law Project
- Comment letter from Gail Kathy Andrews
- Comment letter from Lora L. Guiles
- Comment letter from Reatha L. Hyman Jefferson
- DHEC Public Notice of Public Hearing – October 14, 2021
Virtual Public Hearing/Teleconference
DHEC held a virtual public hearing/teleconference on October 14, 2021, at 6:30 PM to receive oral comments and supporting information on the application for a 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed River Neck to Kingsburg 16-inch Gas Main in Florence County. A recording of the hearing and the presentation can be found below:
- Dominion Pamplico Pipeline Virtual Public Hearing/Teleconference Presentation - October 14, 2021
- Dominion Pamplico Pipeline Virtual Public Hearing/Teleconference Recording - October 14, 2021
Written comments will be accepted through close of business (5:00 p.m.) on October 29, 2021. Comments, along with any other documentation, photos, etc., can be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com or mailed directly to:
DHEC – Bureau of Water
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 898-4266
All comments received by the end of the notice period will be considered when making a decision to issue, issue with conditions or deny certification. This decision will be based upon consideration of applicable regulations, the permit application, comments made at the public hearing, and all other written comments received within the required time frame, and any other pertinent information.