Sassafras Timber, LLC - Sassafras Mine

Sassafras Timber, LLC requested environmental permits from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to mine sand, sand/clay, and topsoil at a site located 8.6 miles south of Summerville, SC, in Dorchester County (TMS #178-00-00-001). The site is 3.75 miles southeast of the intersection of Delemar Highway and Ashley River Road within a 2,660-acre tract of forested land.

After careful consideration of all comments and information received from concerned citizens and local, state, and federal agencies - along with necessary modifications to the submittal of the mine permit application - DHEC has determined the Sassafras Mine can comply with the South Carolina Mining Act and applicable mining regulations. Having made this determination and being in receipt of the required financial assurance (bond), DHEC has approved the mine application and has issued Mine Operating Permit I-002310 for the Sassafras Mine. The final mine permit, maps, reclamation plan, and a summary response to comments are available below. Documents related to issuance of the Coastal Zone Consistency Certification and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit are also available below. 

DHEC appreciates the interest, engagement, and comments received from all our stakeholders during the environmental permitting process for the Sassafras Mine. 


DHEC’s Bureau of Land and Waste Management (BLWM) received an application for a mine operating permit for the Sassafras Mine on September 21, 2020. The BLWM provided notice of the application and began accepting comments on the proposed mine in March 2021. In response to comments received, DHEC held a virtual public meeting on September 30, 2021, to discuss and answer questions about the proposed mine. A public hearing was also held on October 21, 2021, for comments to be heard by DHEC staff and recorded by a court reporter.

Documents used in the BLWM permitting process are available below: 

  • Application Notification 
    • Public notice of Intent to Mine 
  • Application Request 
    • Application for a Mine Operating Permit 
    • Reclamation Plan 
    • Coastal Zone Consistency Request Forms 
    • Request for US Army Corps of Engineers Jurisdictional Determination (JD)/ Delineation 
  • Application Maps 
    • Location Map  
    • Location Map - Aerial View 
    • County GIS Parcel View Map 
    • County GIS Parcel Aerial Map showing Access and Permit Area 
    • Access Map 
    • Mine Map 
    • Reclamation Map 
    • USGS Topographic Map – Stallsville, SC Quadrangle 

The BLWM completed review of all information and public comments received in writing, as well as those shared during the DHEC public meeting and public hearing. Additional information provided by the applicant was also reviewed prior to making a final permit decision. A final decision on the mine operating permit was made after the review and consideration of all comments received.

DHEC’s final decision documents include:

Questions about the BLWM's mine permitting process may be directed to: 

Wendy Hamilton 
Phone: (803) 898-1368 

Coastal Zone Consistency 

DHEC issues Coastal Zone Consistency (CZC) certifications of state permits that operate in the coastal zone of South Carolina. The certification is issued through DHEC's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) and is based on the enforceable policies contained within the SC Coastal Zone Management Program. OCRM's certification is provided to DHEC's Mine permitting program prior to a final decision being made on either a permit or general permit being made. 

OCRM completed its review and issued a Certification for Coastal Zone Consistency on December 30, 2021.

Questions about the CZC certification and the OCRM 's certification process may be directed to: 

Chris Stout 
Phone: (843) 953-0691 

Water Quality

DHEC’s Bureau of Water (BOW) issues National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to minimize environmental impacts from stormwater runoff and other water discharges that may occur during construction and operation of a facility.

In conjunction with the application for an individual mining permit, the applicant is also required to obtain coverage under the NPDES General Permit SCG730000 “General Permit for Discharges Associated with Nonmetal Mineral Mining Facilities.” This permit coverage addresses the water quality issues for both stormwater and wastewater that will be discharged through the outfalls from the Sassafras Mine.

This permit requires the installation of Best Management Practices for sediment and erosion control, reporting, and inspections to ensure the operation maintains compliance.

Sassafras, LLC was granted coverage under the NPDES General Permit on March 20, 2023. Documents related to the NPDES permitting process are available below:

Questions about the NPDES permit and the BOW’s permitting process may be directed to: 

Brett Caswell  
Phone: (803) 898-4396  

Community Engagement

DHEC is committed to providing meaningful ways to hear the questions and concerns of community members and share information on our permitting processes. DHEC offers multiple ways to connect with our staff during the permitting process and beyond, including:

  • Speaking to someone by phone.
  • Submitting a written comment or question.
  • Receiving additional information.
  • Visiting our webpage to learn more.

Questions about community engagement in the BLWM’s permitting process may be directed to:

Donna Moye
Phone: (803) 898-1382 

Virtual Public Meeting

At the request of interested persons, DHEC held an informal public meeting on September 30, 2021, at 6:30pm, to discuss the proposed mine and DHEC’s role in the permitting process. DHEC staff presented information and addressed questions during the meeting.  A recording of the meeting, the presentation given by DHEC staff, and documents discussed are available below:  

Virtual Public Hearing

At the request of interested persons, DHEC also held a formal public hearing on October 21, 2021, at 6:30pm, for comments to be heard by DHEC staff and recorded by a court reporter.

A recording of the hearing and the presentation given by DHEC staff are available below:  

What to Expect After the Public Comment Period Closes 

Once the public comment period closes, DHEC reviews and considers all comments received and determines if any modifications should be made to the mine permit application. Additional information may also be requested from the applicant, if needed. DHEC then makes a decision to approve or deny the mine operating permit. DHEC’s final decision is made available to everyone on DHEC’s mailing list and posted on our webpage for the proposed project if one has been created. If the mine operating permit is approved, a summary response to all comments received will also be made available.    

If you would like to be on our mailing list, please complete the registration form here

Filing a Request for Final Review

DHEC’s decision becomes the final agency decision fifteen (15) calendar days after notice of the decision has been mailed to the applicant, permittee, licensee, and affected persons who have requested in writing to be notified, unless a written request for final review accompanied by a filing fee in the amount of $100 is filed with DHEC by the applicant, permittee, licensee or affected person.

Additional information on requesting a final review by DHEC’s Board can be found on DHEC’s webpage Guide to Board Review.