Enforcing SC's Coastal Protection Laws

The South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Act was passed by the 1977 General Assembly of South Carolina to provide for the protection and enhancement of South Carolina's coastal resources. Under the Act, DHEC has direct statutory authority within the eight coastal counties (Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry and Jasper) for all structures and alterations within the critical area, including coastal waters, tidelands, beaches and the beach/dune system. DHEC OCRM is also empowered to review all State and Federal permit applications and activities to determine their consistency with the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Program

General Enforcement Process

A project is considered to be in violation if the structure or activity exceeds the scope of the issued permit, does not comply with specifications and/or conditions outlined in the permit, is not permitted as required or is otherwise prohibited by statute.

As part of a comprehensive enforcement process, DHEC OCRM may require individuals to perform the following:

  • Stop work under a Cease and Desist Directive
  • Remove the structure in violation
  • Modify the structure or activity in violation
  • Submit an after-the-fact permit application
  • Restore the site to original conditions
  • Pay civil penalties

Report possible violations of the SC Coastal Zone Management Act