On Thursday, October 23 the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will hold a public hearing allowing interested persons the opportunity to express concerns and comments regarding Santee Cooper’s plans to build a new coal-fired power plant near Kingsburg, South Carolina. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at Hannah-Pamplico High School’s gymnasium (2055 South Pamplico Highway, Pamplico, SC).
According to DHEC’s Notice of Public Hearing, “Santee Cooper is proposing to build a new coal-fired power plant near Kingsburg, South Carolina to meet increasing electricity demands in the Florence and Myrtle Beach areas. If approved, the plant will consist of two (2) coal-fired boilers with a maximum rated input capacity of 5,700 million British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour each. This NOMA is necessary because The United States Court of Appeals vacated (i.e. eliminated) the federal Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) for power plants. Until a new power plant regulation is issued by the EPA, each new power plant will have to propose emission limits to control hazardous air pollutants, including mercury. DHEC is required to review the proposed limits and application and make a MACT determination. Hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from this plant will include Mercury (Hg), Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), non-Mercury HAP metals, and organic HAPs.”
The Southern Environmental Law Center declares that “the plant would emit over 300 pounds of mercury into the Great Pee Dee River – a river that already has so much mercury in it that the fish are unsafe to eat,” every single year.
The mouth of the Pee Dee River is located just to our north in Georgetown, SC. What disturbs the quality of life in the upstate and elsewhere in South Carolina is bound to disturb the quality of life in Charleston. We are, after all, downstream of the rest of the state and will surely feel the affects of mercury contamination and other problems associated with coal-fired power plants.
If you cannot be present at tomorrow’s hearing, please submit a comment to DHEC online before the November 6 deadline.