The DHEC Board of Directors had been scheduled to host a public hearing and consider the Western Capacity Use Area designation at its board meeting on September 13, 2018. Due to Hurricane Florence, this September board meeting has been canceled.
The proposed Western Capacity Use Area public hearing has been rescheduled and will be added to the November 8, 2018 board agenda.
In 2004, The SC Water Plan, 2nd. Edition published by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), recommended the entire Coastal Plain province be designated a capacity use area.
DHEC continued to review previously published reports on local groundwater conditions by the DNR and USGS.
On July 19, 2016, Aiken County Council requested that portions of Aiken County be designated as a capacity use area.
In May of 2017, DHEC released a document assessing the groundwater conditions of a seven-county region (Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Lexington, and Orangeburg) currently referred to as the proposed Western Capacity Use Area. The assessment examined reported groundwater withdrawal data and the current groundwater conditions in the area. The review indicated that water level declines in these aquifer systems were being influenced by an increase in groundwater use that reduced recharge to the aquifer systems.
DHEC hosted stakeholder meetings in each county (Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Lexington, and Orangeburg) and a public hearing to gather input and additional information concerning the potential designation of a new capacity use area. The designation of a Capacity Use Area requires DHEC Board approval. Anyone or any group who is interested in participating in this process should contact us in order to be put on the mailing list for upcoming meeting dates and locations.
DHEC Board Meeting & Public Hearing, November 8, 2018, 10:00 AM
Proposed Western Capacity Use Area
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control proposes the designation of all of Aiken County, Allendale County, Bamberg County, Barnwell County, Calhoun County, Lexington County, and Orangeburg County as part of the Western Capacity Use Area. Interested persons are invited to make oral or written comments on the proposed Capacity Use Area at a public hearing to be conducted by the Board of Health and Environmental Control at its regularly scheduled meeting on November 8, 2018. This public hearing replaces the previously scheduled September 13, 2018, public hearing, which is hereby rescheduled for the November 8, 2018 date. The public hearing will be held in the Board Room of the Department of Health and Environmental Control at 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, S.C. 29201. The Board meeting commences at 10:00 a.m. The Board’s agenda will be published 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Persons desiring to make oral comments at the hearing are asked to limit their statements to five minutes and, as a courtesy, are asked to provide written comments of their presentations for the record.
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 10:00 AM
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Written comment period for the proposed Western Capacity Use Area concluded on August 27, 2018 at 5:00 PM.
All comments that were received prior to this deadline date will be included in a Summary of Public Comments and Department Responses for the Board’s consideration at the public hearing.
The Groundwater Use and Reporting Program issues Groundwater Use Withdrawal Permits to all groundwater systems located in a designated Capacity Use Area. Groundwater withdrawal permits are required to withdraw and use groundwater equal to or greater than three million gallons in any month in the counties in these areas.
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