of the Specific State Laws which pertain to
Illegal, Noxious, or
Title 46, Chapter 23 - South Carolina Noxious Weed Act
Provides far reaching powers to seize, quarantine, treat, destroy, apply other remedial measures, to export, return to shipping point, or otherwise dispose of in such a manner as (it) deems appropriate, any noxious weed or any product or article of any character whatsoever or any means of conveyance which (it) has reason to believe contains or is contaminated with any noxious weed, offered for movement, moving, or has moved into or through the state or intrastate. To further deter persons from spreading nuisance aquatic weeds the law includes fines not exceeding $500 and/or imprisonment not exceeding one year.
Title 46, Chapter 9 - State Crop Pest Act
The State Crop Pest Commission is authorized by law (Section 46-9-40) to promulgate and enforce reasonable regulations to eradicate or prevent the introduction, spread or dissemination of plant pests. Plant pests are by definition (Section 46-9-15(5)) any living state of insects, mites, nematodes, slugs, animals, protozoa, snails or other invertebrate animals, bacteria, weeds, fungi, other parasitic plants...which directly or indirectly may injure or cause disease or damage in plants...and which may be a serious agricultural threat to the State, as determined by the Director.
The State Crop Pest Commission is responsible for control of plant pests which constitute a threat to production agriculture. In so doing, the Commission is the primary contact point for cooperation with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U. S. Department of Agriculture.
The Commission has designated certain organisms as plant pests. These organisms are already designated as noxious weeds by state and/or federal authorities or are under domestic federal quarantine. Once a plant pest has been designated, the Commission has the authority to impose control measures, up to and including, quarantine of the premises. However, the Director, as the Commission's designee, retains the discretion to determine that a plant pest has become so widespread that further control measures are not warranted.
Title 49, Chapter 6 - Aquatic Plant Management Act
SECTION 49-6-10. Purpose; administering agency.
There is hereby created the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Program for the purpose of preventing, identifying, investigating, managing, and monitoring aquatic plant problems in public waters of South Carolina. The program will coordinate the receipt and distribution of available federal, state, and local funds for aquatic plant management activities and research in public waters.
The Department of Natural Resources (department) is designated as the state agency to administer the Aquatic Plant Management Program and to apply for and receive grants and loans from the federal government or such other public and private sources as may be available for the Aquatic Plant Management Program and to coordinate the expenditure of such funds.
SECTION 49-6-20. Aquatic Plant Management Trust Fund.
There is created the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Trust Fund which must be kept separate from other funds of the State. The fund must be administered by the department for the purpose of receiving and expending funds for the prevention, management, and research of aquatic plant problems in public waters of South Carolina. Unexpended balances, including interest derived from the fund, must be carried forward each year and used for the purposes specified above. The fund shall be subject to annual audit by the Office of the State Auditor.
The fund is eligible to receive appropriations of state general funds, federal funds, local government funds, and funds from private entities including donations, grants, loans, gifts, bond issues, receipts, securities, and other monetary instruments of value. All reimbursements for monies expended from this fund must be deposited in this fund.
SECTION 49-6-30. Aquatic Plant Management Council; membership; duties.
There is hereby established the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Council, hereinafter referred to as the council, which shall be composed of ten members as follows:
1. The council shall include one representative from each of the following agencies, to be appointed by the chief executive officer of each agency:
(a) Water Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources;
(b) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control;
(c) Wildlife and Freshwater Fish Division of the Department of Natural Resources;
(d) South Carolina Department of Agriculture;
(e) Coastal Division of the Department of Health and Environmental Control;
(f) South Carolina Public Service Authority;
(g) Land Resources and Conservation Districts Division of the Department of Natural Resources;
(h) South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism;
(i) Clemson University, Department of Fertilizer and Pesticide Control.
2. The council shall include one representative from the Governor’s Office, to be appointed by the Governor.
3. The representative of the Water Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources shall serve as chairman of the council and shall be a voting member of the council.
The council shall provide interagency coordination and serve as the principal advisory body to the department on all aspects of aquatic plant management and research. The council shall establish management policies, approve all management plans, and advise the department on research priorities.
SECTION 49-6-40. Aquatic Plant Management Plan.
The department, with advice and assistance from the council, shall develop an Aquatic Plant Management Plan for the State of South Carolina. The plan shall describe the procedures for problem site identification and analysis, selection of control methods, operational program development, and implementation of operational strategies. The plan shall also identify problem areas, prescribe management practices, and set management priorities. The plan shall be updated and amended at appropriate intervals as necessary; provided, however, problem site identification and allocation of funding shall be conducted annually. In addition, the department shall establish procedures for public input into the plan and its amendments and priorities. The public review procedures shall be an integral part of the plan development process. When deemed appropriate, the department may seek the advice and counsel of persons and organizations from the private, public, or academic sectors.
The council shall review and approve all plans and amendments. Approval shall consist of a two-thirds vote of the members present. The department shall have final approval authority over those sections that do not receive two-thirds approval of the council.
Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft
Chapter 5 – South Carolina Marine Resources Act of 2000
SECTION 50-5-45. Maintenance and publication of nonindigenous organisms list; introduction of such organisms prohibited.
(A) The department shall maintain and publish a list of any species, varieties, or strains of nonindigenous organisms known or suspected to present an adverse impact to fish or marine resources of this State. The list shall include the common and scientific name and the actual or potential adverse impact of each organism.
(B) It is unlawful:
(1) to place in the salt waters of this State, or in privately owned waters directly connected to salt waters of this State, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism; or
(2) to sell or offer for sale as bait, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism.
Chapter 13 - Protection of Fish
SECTION 50-13-1415 -Importation, possession, or placing water hyacinth and hydrilla in waters of the state.
No person shall possess, sell, offer for sale, import, bring, or cause to be brought or imported into this State, or release or place into any waters of this State any of the following plants:
(1) Water Hyacinth
Provided, however, that the department may issue special import permits to qualified persons for research purposes only.
The department shall prescribe the methods, control, and restrictions which are to be adhered to by any person or his agent to whom a special permit under the provisions of this section is issued. The department is authorized to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section and the department, by regulation, is specifically authorized to prohibit additional species of plants from being imported, possessed, or sold in this State when, in the discretion of the department, such species of plants are potentially dangerous.
SECTION 50-13-1630. Importing, possessing or selling certain fish unlawful; special permits for research; Department shall issue rules and regulations.
(A) A person may not possess, sell, offer for sale, import, bring, or cause to be brought or imported into this State or release into the waters of this State the following fish or eggs of the fish:
(1) carnero or candiru catfish (Vandellia cirrhosa);
(2) freshwater electric eel (Electrophorus electricus);
(3) white amur or grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella);
(4) walking catfish or a member of the Clariidae family (Clarias, Heteropneustea, Gymnallabes, Channallabes, or Heterobranchus genera);
(5) piranha (all members of Serrasalmus, Rooseveltiella, and Pygocentrus genera);
(7) Mexican banded tetra;
(8) sea lamprey;
(9) rudd (Scardinius erythrophtalmu-Linneaus); and
(10) snakehead (all members of family Channidae).
(B) The department may issue special import permits to qualified persons for research and education only.
(C) (1) The department may issue special permits for the stocking of sterile white amur or grass carp hybrids in the waters of this State. The special permits must certify that the permitee's white amur or grass carp hybrids have been tested and determined to be sterile. The department may charge a fee of one dollar for each white amur or grass carp hybrid that measures five inches or longer or twenty-five cents for each white amur or grass carp hybrid that measures less than five inches. The fee collected for sterility testing must be retained by the department and used to offset the costs of the testing.
(2) The department is authorized to promulgate regulations to establish a fee schedule to replace the fee schedule contained in item (1) of this subsection. Upon these regulations taking effect, the fee schedule contained in item (1) of this subsection no longer applies.
(D) The department may issue special permits for the importation, breeding, and possession of nonsterile white amur or grass carp hybrids. The permits must be issued pursuant to the requirements contained in Chapter 18 of this title. Provided, however, that no white amur or grass carp hybrids imported, bred, or possessed pursuant to a special permit issued pursuant to this section may be stocked in the waters of this State except as provided in subsection (C) of this section.
(E) It is unlawful to take grass carp from waters stocked as permitted by this section. Grass carp caught must be returned to the water from which it was taken immediately.
(F) The department must prescribe the qualifications, methods, controls, and restrictions required of a person or his agent to whom a special permit is issued. The department must condition all permits issued under this section to safeguard public safety and welfare and prevent the introduction into the wild or release of nonnative species of fish or other organisms into the waters of this State. The department may promulgate regulations necessary to effectuate this section and specifically to prohibit additional species of fish from being imported, possessed, or sold in this State when the department determines the species of fish are potentially dangerous.
SECTION 50-13-1660 Searches, seizures, and forfeitures.
It shall be lawful for any enforcement officer or other officer of the law to search, upon reasonable information, any package or container containing fish and to seize and hold such fish as evidence and declare such fish forfeited, upon conviction of the offender, and sell them to the highest bidder.
Chapter 16 - Importation of Wildlife
SECTION 50-16-10. “Wildlife” defined.
For the purpose of this chapter, “wildlife” means a member of the animal kingdom including without limitation a mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, or other invertebrate.
SECTION 50-16-20. Importation of wildlife for certain purposes prohibited; investigation; permit.
(A) It is unlawful for a person to import, possess, or transport for the purpose of release or to introduce or bring into this State any live wildlife of the following types without a permit from the department:
(1) a furbearer, a member of the family Cervidae, a nondomestic member of the families Suidae (pigs), Tayassuidae (peccaries), Bovidae (bison, mountain goat, mountain sheep), coyote, bear, or turkey (genus Meleagris). Furbearer includes, but is not limited to, red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, skunk, otter, bobcat, weasel, and beaver;
(2) a species of marine or estuarine fish, crustacean, mollusk, or other marine invertebrate not already found in the wild, or not native to this State.
(3) a species of freshwater fish, crustacean, mollusk, or other freshwater invertebrate not already found in the wild or not native to this State.
(B) A permit may be granted only after the investigations and inspections of the wildlife have been made as the department considers necessary and the department approves the possession, transportation, or importation into the State. The department may not issue a permit unless it finds:
(1) the wildlife was taken lawfully in the jurisdiction in which it originated;
(2) the importation, release, or possession of the wildlife is not reasonably expected to adversely impact the natural resources of the State or its wildlife populations.
SECTION 50-16-30. Importation of diseased animals prohibited.
It is unlawful for a person to possess, transport, or otherwise bring into the State or release or introduce into the State any diseased wildlife or other animal that reasonably might be expected to pose a public health or safety hazard as determined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control after consultation with the department.
SECTION 50-16-40. Exception to permit requirement for wildlife imported for exhibition to purposes.
Wildlife imported for exhibition purposes only by state wildlife departments, municipal zoos or parks, public museums, public zoological parks, and public scientific or educational institutions operated not for profit, and transient circuses are not required to procure a permit under Section 50-16-20. Nothing in this chapter prohibits the department or its duly authorized agents from possessing, importing, or releasing wildlife.
SECTION 50-16-50. Authority to promulgate regulations.
The department may promulgate regulations to effectuate the provisions of this chapter.
SECTION 50-16-60. Exception to permit requirement for certain wildlife imported for sale as pets.
The importation of the following wildlife for sale in the pet trade does not require a permit:
1. tropical fishes
2. rats and mice
6. shell parakeets
7. love birds
11. mynah birds
14. guinea pigs
The provisions of this section do not privilege the import or possession of a species otherwise protected or regulated by other provisions of this title.
SECTION 50-16-70. Penalties.
A person violating the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
Chapter 18 –Aquaculture (Article 2. - The Aquaculture Enabling Act)
SECTION 50-18-245. Requirements to engage in aquaculture of nonindigenous species.
To engage in the aquaculture of a nonindigenous species a person must first obtain:
(1) a nonindigenous species permit as provided in this title, and
(2) an aquaculture permit.
SECTION 50-18-270. Intentional release of imported species into public waterways; penalties.
(A) Except as provided in this subsection it is unlawful to place or release intentionally any species imported from another state or jurisdiction into public waters in this State without a permit issued by the department. This section does not apply to the use of live bait. The department may grant permits at no cost to allow permitted aquaculturists to release aquacultured products into the public waters of this State as a part of a stocking program conducted or approved by the department.
(B) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days. In addition to any penalty the presiding magistrate may order restitution to the department.
(C) A person who violates this section for a second or subsequent offense within three years of a first offense must be fined five thousand dollars, no part of which may be suspended, or imprisoned for up to one year, or both. In addition to any penalty the presiding judge may order restitution to the department.
SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF REGULATIONS
1. The Commission hereby delegates to the Director the authority to determine and implement appropriate measures to eradicate, control, or slow the spread of plant pests in South Carolina. This authority extends to a decision that a plant pest has become so widespread that the initiation or continuation of control measures would be ineffective.
2. An advisory committee made up of at least 5 members will meet at least annually to review and make recommendations on the official listing of plant pests in SC. The committee members will be: the State Plant Regulatory Official for South Carolina (or designee), the USDA State Plant Health Director for South Carolina (or designee), a Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service Representative, and at least 2 at large representatives from other stakeholder agencies, such as the SC Department of Natural Resources, the SC Forestry Commission, or the SC Department of Agriculture. At large members shall be nominated and voted on by the advisory committee at its annual meeting. Additional at large members may be nominated and voted in at the annual advisory committee meeting. At large members from stakeholder agencies shall each serve a three-year term.