Office of Environmental Programs
The SCDNR Office of Environmental Programs, a component of the agency's Executive Office, is involved in reviewing proposed environmental impacts as published in the regulatory arena and providing science-based expertise to benefit the state's natural resources and its citizens. SCDNR is not a regulatory agency; however:
- It is charged by state law with the management, protection and enhancement of wildlife, fisheries and marine resources.
- It is responsible for formulating comprehensive policies for water resources through a State Water Plan to address issues affecting water supply, water quality, navigation, hydroelectric power, outdoor recreation, fish and wildlife needs, and other water resource interests.
- It is charged with the statewide responsibilities for regulating watercraft operation and associated recreation on state waters, conducting geological and archaeological surveys and mapping, promoting soil and water conservation, management of invasive aquatic plants, flood mitigation, drought response planning and coordination and the state scenic rivers program.
Thus, the agency has a great responsibility in assessing and providing input on environmental impacts as a part of the public commenting forums.
Staff are involved with the review of 401 Water Quality Certifications and 404 Wetland Fill as part of the Clean Water Act, State & Federal Navigable Water Permits, Mining Permits, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) projects, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) projects, National Environmental Policy Act related projects, Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) related to oil spills and hazardous waste sites, and an assortment of small county projects. Staff participate and coordinate with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, SC Department of Archives and History State Historic Preservation Office to assess environmental impacts and ensure that unavoidable impacts to natural and cultural resources are mitigated appropriately.