News | September 24, 2012

SC Regulators Must Update Coal Ash Permit

SELC has filed suit against the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to force it to do its job and issue an up-to-date water pollution permit for coal ash lagoons at Santee Cooper’s Grainger plant on the Waccamaw River in Conway.

DHEC and Santee Cooper have known for years that the lagoons, which hold 650,000 tons of coal ash, are discharging arsenic, mercury, copper, and other pollutants into the Waccamaw and groundwater. DHEC is required to re-examine and renew Clean Water Act permits every five years for such facilities. Santee Cooper’s permit for its Conway coal ash lagoons was issued 10 years ago and expired in September 2006, allowing the state-owned utility to use old technology for controlling pollution from the dump site. Read more.