Public Hearing on Proposed Drought Regulations
and meeting of the
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Columbia, South Carolina
Monday, June 25, 2001
A special meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources included a public hearing on proposed drought regulations at 4:00 p.m., on Monday, June 25, 2001, in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, South Carolina. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Dr. Joab Lesesne presided at the meeting. Board members present included Dr. Julius Leary, Ben Gregg, Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker. Board members absent included Danny Ford and M. Russell Holliday, Jr. Dr. Paul A. Sandifer and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
Chairman Lesesne called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.
Chairman Lesesne stated that this hearing is being held pursuant to the SC Administrative Procedures Act. The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comments on draft regulations published in the State Register on May 25, 2001. These regulations were developed pursuant to the Drought Response Act (SC Code of Laws 49-23-10).
This hearing is being conducted by the DNR Board. Board members will receive comments and work with staff to develop final regulations.
Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any persons or parties present who were interested in making comments, either orally or in writing.
Chairman Lesesne then called on Hope Mizzell, Drought Program Coordinator with the Land, Water and Conservation Division, to explain the regulations and respond to the comments received prior to this date.
Ms. Mizzell informed the Board that thus far two comments have been received, one oral and one written. Ms. Mizzell distributed copies of the written comment from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce to the Board members for their review (copy attached to original minutes). Ms. Mizzell also distributed and reviewed a section-by-section discussion synopsis. This synopsis allowed the Board to see proposed primary changes to the regulations.
Board members posed several questions related to the “trigger levels” of aquifers and stream flows and about the comments received from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Mizzell then reviewed the procedures and requirements for promulgating regulations.
Ms. Mizzell reported that she received oral comments from Carolina Power and Light stating that they would be submitting comments requesting that power generation be excluded from the list of non-essential water uses. Ms. Mizzell reported that she explained, orally, that the definition of essential water use is defined as water to protect health and safety of drinking water and fire-fighting purposes. Ms. Mizzell explained that this is not a change in the regulations and that all other uses have always been non-essential water use from the creation of the Drought Response Act in 1985. To date of this hearing, Ms. Mizzell has not received an official written comment from Carolina Power and Light.
Chairman Lesesne stated that the next step is to draft a report of the hearing within five days. Then staff will re-draft the regulations, if necessary, to be considered at the August meeting of the DNR Board.
At this time Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters.
The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.
Dr. Leary stated that there were no items discussed in Executive Session that required action.
Chairman Lesesne again recognized Ms. Mizzell to present another written comment received while the Board was in Executive Session. Ms. Mizzell reported that she received written comments from International Paper supporting the comments received from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.