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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (September 30, 2019) - Today, the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments’ Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) voted to support the review of Mount Pleasant Waterworks’ (MPW) Modified Groundwater Permit Request by DHEC, that provides water to our community, which sustains life for years to come while protecting the environment.
Earlier this year, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control denied Mount Pleasant Waterworks’ Modified Groundwater Permit request, choosing instead to reduce the MPW’s groundwater supply by 57%. The reduction will cause MPW to purchase more water from the Charleston Water System, raising customer rates and stranding $50 million dollars in infrastructure projects, which will likely lead to weakened bond ratings.
In the Modified Permit Request, MPW reduced its requested withdrawal limit by 39%, taking into account our dedication to continue managing the resource mindfully while playing our part in building a stronger Groundwater Management Plan with our colleagues for the State of SC. DHEC regulates based on a plan which lacks triggers and does not adequately define reasonable use.
During his presentation before the TAC, MPW’s Operations Manager Allan Clum detailed the negative impacts DHEC’s 57% cut will affect for MPW customers.
Allan Clum also showed how the MPW’s Modified Permit provides the utility with its necessary supply of groundwater while ensuring no saltwater intrusion, no changes in water quality, no indication of land subsidence, and no immediate negative impacts on the aquifer during the permit period.
The TAC voted to support MPW’s Modified Permit Request through a motion to review the previously denied request. This request meets the requirements outlined in the Groundwater Management Plan.
State Senator Chip Campsen said, "Mt. Pleasant Waterworks is one of the fastest-growing utilities in the nation, yet DHEC has proposed a near 60% cut to its groundwater permit. This is draconian and unacceptable. Mt. Pleasant Waterworks has offered a reasonable compromise. I implore DHEC to accept it."
“Our permit request addresses environmental concerns while making sure our citizens and businesses have enough water to support their way of life,” emphasized Clay Duffie, MPW General Manager. “If DHEC’s permit is approved, our community will live with the negative fiscal impacts for years to come. We thank the TAC for supporting our reasonable request.”