SC Bill to Expedite Environmental Permit Appeals Fails to Progress

Despite support by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, a bill to expedite environmental permit appeals, H 3827, failed to pass the South Carolina General Assembly this session. Bill H 3837 would have amended the current law, which mandates that the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control (the “Board”) be given at least 60 days to review permits issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC”) before the decision becomes “final” and can be brought before the South Carolina Administrative Law Court (“ALC”). The bill would have allowed a party to request a contested case hearing on a DHEC decision before the ALC and by-pass the Board. The bill further provided that, upon issuance of an emergency order by DHEC, the person against whom it is issued could apply to the ALC for relief and be afforded a hearing within 48 hours. The General Assembly’s failure to pass the bill means there will continue to be at least a 60-day delay before permit challenges can be heard by the ALC. The Chamber vows to pursue a similar bill when the next legislative session convenes in January 2015.

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