Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
1000 Assembly Street
March 23, 2012 9:00 am
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:00 a.m., March 23, 2012, in Room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Caroline Rhodes presided at the meeting. Board members present included Cary Chastain, John Evans, Randy Lowe, Norman Pulliam and Larry Yonce. Board member Michael Hutchins’ absence was excused. Col. Alvin Taylor, Director, and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman Caroline Rhodes called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Rev. Ron Kenyon offered the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman John Evans led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Chip Sharpe, retired DNR employee; Solicitor Dan Johnson, SC 5th Judicial Circuit; Tony Walker, Solicitor’s Office; Mike McShane, Savannah River Maritime Commission SC DNR Designee; Andrew MacLeod, Savannah River Maritime Commission Legal Counsel; Douglas Ford, Research Director, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee; Madison Walker, Governor’s Office; Joey Holleman, The State; and Mark Coleman.
Chairman Rhodes welcomed Alvin Taylor to his first meeting as Director.
Col. Taylor thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve as Director and for their support.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman Rhodes asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the February 17, 2012, meeting minutes. Mr. Pulliam offered the following amendment.
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the February 17, 2012, meeting as submitted. Cary Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Law Enforcement
Norman Pulliam reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met January 31 and February 1, 2012, at the Webb Center. Terry LeCroy chaired the meeting on February 1 since
in Mr. Pulliam ’s absence had to leave the Webb Center on the morning of February 1 to attend a meeting in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received a report on the budget; an overview of Law Enforcement activities since the last meeting; an overview of the Law Enforcement Division structure; a legislative report and a report on Region 1 activities.
Solicitor Dan Johnson made a presentation to DNR Law Enforcement Officers involved with the recent BUI trial in Richland County – Officers Ray Lewis, Robin Camlin, Rhett Bickley, Ben Thomas, Kevin Roosen and Ken Simmons.
Director Taylor thanked the Solicitor and his office for moving this high profile case forward.
Director Taylor commended Don Winslow, Sandy Rucker and staff who volunteered and organized John Frampton’s retirement celebration. Mr. Winslow acknowledged that it was a team effort.
- Environmental Report
Bob Perry, Director, Office of Environmental Programs, thanked everyone for the cards, calls and emails he received during his recovery. Mr. Perry reviewed letters that were attached to the monthly briefing document regarding the oyster mariculture proposed project on Fish Creek and the Williams States Lee Nuclear Station. Mr. Perry noted that Chairman Rhodes had sent the Board members a briefing document on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). Mr. Perry then addressed questions the Board had about SHEP.
Chairman Rhodes read 54-6-10(D) as paraphrased by DNR legal counsel, about the Savannah River Maritime Commission. According to the Savannah River Maritime Commission Statute (Section 54-6-10(D)), this agency, as well as other officials and agencies, is to provide professional and clerical services for the commission as required by the commission.
- Item for Board Information
Savannah River Update
Mike McShane, Savannah River Maritime Commission DNR Board designee. Mr. McShane distributed copies of the statute forming the Savannah River Maritime Commission. Mr. McShane described some of the problems associated with the Savannah River, such as saltwater intrusion and TMDL of wastewater. Mr. McShane noted that there is no agreement on the allocation of the river between South Carolina and Georgia. Mr. McShane reviewed the Maritime Commission’s statement on their position of DHEC’s decision to approve the Section 401 Water Quality Certification and the Coastal Zone Consistency Determination for the proposed Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). This statement was adopted at the Commission’s December 9, 2011, meeting. Mr. McShane distributed copies of the Joint Resolution suspending the authority of DHEC for all decisions subsequent to 2007 pertaining to the navigability, depth, dredging, wastewater and sludge disposal, and related collateral issues in regard to the use of the Savannah River as a waterway for ocean-going container or commerce vessels, which became effective March 1. The Attorney General met with the Maritime Commission on December 9 and recommended a lawsuit appealing the 401 Certification. Mr. McShane then reviewed the reasons for the appeal and addressed questions the Board had about SHEP. Mr. McShane stated that he would like to brief the Board, with counsel, on a couple of matters and asked if the Board would consider holding an executive session for this briefing.
- Executive Session
Mr. Pulliam made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal matters. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Open Session
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board return to regular session, noting that no actions were taken during Executive Session. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board affirm its support of the Department’s position as stated in its letter of January 25, 2011, concerning the dredging of the Savannah Harbor and thanked staff for their hard work on this proposed project. Mr. Lowe seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Constituent Comments
Chairman Rhodes noted that Mark Coleman had requested to address the Board. Mr. Coleman spoke to the Board about a proposal for a Statewide Bobwhite Restoration Initiative. Mr. Coleman informed the Board that under a statewide effort a Quail Council, composed of government, non-government and public entities, could be formed to provide guidance and feedback on the development of a formal plan. Once a plan has been drafted the Council will present it to the DNR Board for formal approval. Mrs. Cope reported that the agency is currently drafting a Statewide Quail Management Plan. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board direct staff to bring a plan to improve the native quail habitat to the Board. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and he motion carried unanimously.
- Advisory Committee Report
Land, Water and Conservation
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee met March 9, 2012, in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received updates on several programs, budget issues and water planning. The Advisory Committee also approved conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments which have been recommended to the Board for their consideration.
- Item for Board Information
Water Planning Update
Mr. Rentiers gave a brief presentation on the history and need for water planning. Mr. Rentiers noted that one recommendation of the 2004 State Water Plan is to develop regional water plans for each major river basin in the state. Mr. Rentiers noted that in order to assist with technical issues and develop statewide standards they are recommending the establishment of a State Technical Advisory Committee that would be composed of all levels of government, planners and stakeholders. One responsibility of this Committee would be to appoint members to the regional water planning groups that would include representatives of the general public, local government, industry, agriculture, environmental/conservation groups and water and power utilities. Mr. Rentiers noted that all this will be overseen by the DNR Board and they may decide to establish a Water Planning Oversight Board to oversee the process. Mr. Rentiers then described the use for regional water plans and reviewed what several other states are currently doing.
- Advisory Committee Report
Mr. Winslow reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee met March 7, 2012, in Columbia. Mr. Winslow noted that all Committee members were in attendance. The 2013 DNR – Killen contract has been signed. The SC Duck Stamp and Print display at SEWE yielded $460.00. The Ducks Unlimited Canada final report is due to DNR and the SC Migratory Waterfowl Duck Stamp and Print Committee in April. The Advisory Committee recommended that the Board approve $26,000.00 for the Ducks Unlimited Canada contribution once the final report has been received. Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board approve $26,000.00 to be contributed to Ducks Unlimited Canada from the South Carolina Migratory Waterfowl Duck Stamp and Print Committee account, pending the receipt of the final report from the current grant and a proposal for a new grant approved by staff. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Item for Board Action
2011 SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Annual Report
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the 2011 SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Annual Report, as submitted, and continue to support this program. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Deputy Director Report
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mrs. Cope reported that a position description has been drafted for a forester position. Mrs. Cope also noted that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee will meet April 11.
- Legislative Report
Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, distributed and reviewed the weekly update.
- Director’s Briefing
Director Taylor reminded the Board that their Economic Interests forms are due to the Ethics Commission by April 15.
- Executive Session
Mr. Yonce made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss personnel and contractual matters. Mr. Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Open Session
Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board return to regular session, noting that no actions were taken during Executive Session. Mr. Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board approve the conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee.
||Rebecca H. Davis, Barnwell; Jimmy H. Bacot, Florence; and W. E. Corbin, Jr., Hampton
||Jimmy Taylor, Marion; Thomas Gourdin, Berkeley; Dominic Caggiano, Cherokee; Jason Price, Saluda; Lauren Yonce, Saluda; John T. Rivers III, Sumter; and Thomas S. Laney, Sumter
Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the Law Enforcement Advisory Commitment appointments as recommended by the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee.
Johnny Williamson of Denmark and Paul Napper of Camden
Mr. Yonce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Lowe made a motion that the Board give preliminary approval to investigate a potential land acquisition in Charleston County. Mr. Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board give preliminary approval to investigate a potential land acquisition for transfer in Lexington County. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The April Board meeting will be held Tuesday, April 17, 2012, location to be determined.
Chairman Rhodes then read her letter to Governor Haley resigning her position as Chairman but retaining her Congressional District 1 seat on the Board. Chairman Rhodes stated that her resignation is based on recent events that have occurred that have put a tremendous burden on my husband, with the tragic death of his pediatric partner and friend of 21 years, stating her husband has asked her to step down as chairman so that they may have more time together, and she feels she must honor him.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for March 23, 2012 (file size 1.1M), have been provided in the Adobe PDF file format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the above files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.