Wal-Mart intended to build a new store in Florence, South Carolina. Because the store would have a parking lot, it needed a permit that determined how stormwater runoff would be handled. The parking lot was designed to make water flow in the direction of a detention (holding) pond. It could accommodate 100-year frequency storm events. From the pond, water would flow into assorted creeks. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Controls (DHEC) granted a stormwater permit. The Responsible Economic Development (RED) group challenged the permit. RED claimed that the stormwater runoff would degrade creek water and then flow into Jeffries Creek, an impaired body of water.
An administrative law judge for DHEC ruled that the permit had been properly granted. RED challenged that ruling, but it was upheld first by the DHEC board and then by the circuit court. RED appealed to the state high court.
1. The South Carolina high court upheld the issuance of the stormwater runoff permit, because it met state standards. RED claimed that the state permitting process was flawed and favored land developers. Could that be the case?
2. What alternative would Wal-Mart have to building a parking lot?
This question was answered on: Jul 11, 2017
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