Scout Motors

Proposed Project Overview 

Scout Motors has proposed construction of a manufacturing facility for the company’s electric vehicles (EV), to be located at a 1620-acre site in the Blythewood Industrial Park in Blythewood, SC.  

Phase I of the proposed project would include: 

  • site preparation,  
  • construction of six vehicle assembly buildings totaling approximately 3,128,000 square feet (sf) to support operation, and 
  • construction of a new interchange on I-77, interior roadways, a rail spur, and other infrastructure improvements.  

Scout Motors, along with the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Richland County Economic Development Office, have begun seeking environmental permits related to the proposed Phase I of the project from the DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality and Bureau of Water. Additional environmental permitting applications may be submitted to DHEC programs for consideration. 

Bureau of Air Quality  

DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality (BAQ) develops and implements strategies to maintain the quality of South Carolina’s air. This permitting program requires stationary sources of air pollution to receive air permits from the BAQ before they start construction.  

Air construction permits specify what conditions must be met by a permitted facility to demonstrate compliance with state and federal air quality requirements. The BAQ issues several types of construction permits depending on the process operation and emissions of the proposed facility. 

Scout Motors Draft Air Construction Permit 

On June 1, 2023, Scout Motors applied to the BAQ for a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air construction permit for the construction of a new facility. 

The BAQ has completed a technical review of the application. The technical review includes reviewing emissions calculations, performing a regulatory review, conducting an ambient air quality analysis and verifying that the proposed project can meet all applicable air quality regulations if constructed and operated in accordance with the air permit application. The best available control technology emission limits included in the PSD construction permit application were also reviewed.

Once the technical review was completed, the Preliminary Determination, draft air construction permit (containing all applicable emission limitations and requirements), draft statement of basis, and permit application was placed on public notice September 7, 2023 through October 18, 2023.  

On September 19, 2023, BAQ staff participated in the TeamSC Community Open House with other agencies to answer questions from the public about the proposed project.

On October 12, 2023, the BAQ held a public hearing to accept written and verbal comments on the draft air construction permit for the proposed project.

On October 31, 2023, the BAQ made a Department Decision approving the issuance of the Air Quality PSD Construction Permit to Scout Motors. The decision regarding the air permit was made after careful consideration and complete review of the following: the air permit application, applicable state and federal air quality regulations, comments made at the public hearing held on October 12, 2023, and all comments received within the public comment period. All public comments received were reviewed and have been included in DHEC's permanent record for this facility.

Bureau of Water  

401 Water Quality Certification 

DHEC administers the Water Quality Certification program pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act. Section 401 requires that the State issue certification for any activity which requires a Federal permit and may result in a discharge to State waters. This certification must state that applicable effluent limits and water quality standards will not be violated.  

All activities requiring a Federal 404 permit (a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for the discharge of dredged or fill material) result in a discharge to waters or wetlands, and DHEC must take certification action on all 404 permit applications.  During a review of applications for Water Quality Certification, the Department considers: 

  • whether or not there are feasible alternatives to the activity,  
  • if the activity is water dependent, and  
  • the intended purpose of the activity.  

Specifics for Scout  

On June 1, 2023 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a joint public notice for a 404 permit and an associated 401 water quality certification from DHEC for discharge of fill in waters of the U.S. for the project known as Scout Motors/Project Connect. The proposed work, as provided in the public notice, includes impacts to 73.637 acres of wetlands, 38.219 acres of ponds, and 38,152 linear feet of tributaries.  DHEC must review the project in accordance with Regulation 61-101, Water Quality Certification.  


Stormwater runoff during construction activities (clearing, grading, excavating) is regulated under the Federal Clean Water Act and South Carolina Pollution Control Act through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Operators of proposed construction activities must engage the services of a South Carolina Licensed Professional Engineer to prepare, and submit to DHEC for review, a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) outlining stormwater management and sediment/ erosion control practices designed to protect water quality in receiving streams.  These practices, which for this site include numerous sediment basins, silt fence, and stormwater conveyances, must be installed according to the approved plan and maintained in effective operating condition throughout the life of the project.   

Specifics for Scout   

On April 5, 2023, an initial NPDES stormwater permit was issued to Richland County Economic Development to allow clearing, grading, and excavating on 708.5 acres of the Scout Motors (also known as Project Connect) site. All construction work covered under this permit is in uplands. No work in Waters of the United States and subject to the pending U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit has been approved.  The permit was subsequently modified on August 23 expanding the total permitted area to 712.7 acres. Subsequent applications will be required for further work on the site.   

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:   

  • Hosting public meetings and public hearings 
  • Speaking to someone by phone 
  • Submitting a question or concern by mail, email, or fax  
  • Receiving additional information by mail, fax, or email  
  • Visiting our webpage to learn more 

Community Open House 

DHEC staff from Environmental Affairs and its Bureau of Air Quality and Bureau of Water participated in the TeamSC Community Open House from 4-7 pm on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Doko Manor, 100 Alvina Hagood Circle, Blythewood SC 29016.  Staff was present to share information and answer questions.  

Public Hearing 

On Thursday, October 12, 2023, DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality held a public hearing to accept written and verbal comments on the draft air construction permit for the proposed Scout Motors project.