NPDES permits (SC DHEC)
NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits are required for each of the underwater pipes in the lower Saluda and also its tributaries, 12 Mile Creek and 14 Mile Creek that drain much of Lexington County. These permits authorize the level of treatment of sewer and the volume of the treated wastewater discharges. Locations of these are available on the SC DHEC website. There should be no new permit requests for discharges of wastewater submitted to DHEC in the coming years as DHEC has asked for existing dischargers to consolidate their output to regional lines now being built (Lexington Joint Water and Sewer Authority) that would take the wastewater to either Cayce or Columbia sewer plants. However, the chapter will have to deal with renewals for existing ones as several of those companies do not want to give up a profitable business. Those renewals will require chapter positions and testimonies at DHEC hearings. Also, the chapter must be vigilant as increased flows from Lake Murray per the FERC settlement agreement could possibly mean requests for increased discharge limits.
The Congaree Riverkeeper should be supported as this is a major area of involvement for that group, and they are likely to be key allies and leaders as permits are opened for public comment. For example, this group, led by Board Director, Mullen Taylor, negotiated written requirements with dates in the purchase agreement approval from SC DHEC when Alpine Utilities was bought by Ni-America last year. Note, this is the wastewater plant less than a half mile above I26 (and the Rivers Edge island stretch).