Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
December 11, 2008 10:00 a.m.
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 11, 2008, in Room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Mike McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Campbell, Stephen Davis, John Evans, Frank Murray, Norman Pulliam and Caroline Rhodes. Director John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
- Call to Order
Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Rev. Eric Skidmore to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Abi Nicholas, Tideline magazine; Sammie Haithcock, former DNR employee; and Scott Whitaker, Executive Director, CCA.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Winslow informed the Board that there were no requests for constituent comment.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the minutes of the November 20, 2008, meeting. There being no amendments, deletions, or corrections, Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the November 20, 2008, meeting as presented. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Director Frampton commended Angie Williams, Auditor, for her recognition by the SC State Internal Auditors Association for her service on the Board of Directors as the Hospitality Chair for 2006 and 2007.
Mr. Frampton commended Terri McGee, Human Resources Director, for her recognition by the Columbia Affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management for her service on the Board of Directors as the Certification Chair for 2008.
Mr. Frampton read a letter received from Marshall Marine expressing their appreciation and commending Sammie Haithcock for her work with DNR.
Mr. Frampton commended staff for their contributions toward a gift for the Dennis Building housekeeping staff.
- Items for Board Information
- Drought Update
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, reported that this has been the fourth coolest November on record at Columbia. Dr. Mizzell informed the group that nine upstate counties remain in extreme drought. Dr. Mizzell reviewed streamflows, lake levels and groundwater monitoring wells around the state.
- Implementation of New Law Referencing Abandoned Vessels
Col. Taylor, Deputy Director, Law Enforcement, distributed copies and reviewed §50-21-190 – Abandoning watercraft or outboard motor; penalty; removal. Col. Taylor informed the Board that officers will complete a detailed survey form for suspected abandoned vessels and will begin their search on the coast. Once vessels have been identified as abandoned the information will be turned over to investigations to search for ownership. The owners are responsible for removal for those vessels that have ownership identified. Col. Taylor stated that the Department will work with local areas to see if they have funding to remove those vessels that do not have identified owners.
- Items for Board Action
2009 Legislative Package
Derrick Meggie, Director, Legislative Services, distributed and reviewed the following proposed legislation: Wildlife Management Area and Heritage Trust Lands Protection Act, Bear Bill, Dog Deer Hunting Act of 2009, and Prescribed Fire-Conservation Easement.
Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the Bear Bill with the provision that a non-resident fee be included. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Murray made a motion that the Board approve the Dog Deer Hunting Bill with the provision that the portion in Section E relative to contacting the person identified on the dog’s collar be modified. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton and Chairman McShane will meet with Gene Kodama, State Forester, and Forestry Commission Board members to discuss cooperatively developing potential legislation addressing incentives for landowners to keep lands under wildlife management and forest management with one of the goals to enhance opportunities for prescribed burning on lands under conservation easements.
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the WMA and Heritage Trust Lands Protection Act as presented. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director’s Briefing
Mr. Frampton gave the Board an update on the budget.
Mr. Frampton distributed copies of a letter about non-native oysters in Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Frampton commended Law Enforcement officers for their work during waterfowl season.
Mr. Frampton distributed a letter from Bob Perry about the Santee Cooper Coal Fire facility. This is regarding the permanent request to build the plant.
Chairman McShane asked if this is DNR’s final comments.
Mr. Perry stated that it is not the final comments. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process is ongoing. This is being coordinated by the Corps of Engineers, and LPA, Inc., is developing the EIS. There have been a number of interagency and scoping meetings with the preparers of the EIS. Many of the issues DNR has raised will be addressed in the EIS. Mr. Perry noted three issues that have been raised.
1) Geology of the site – we want to make sure there is a thorough geologic assessment,
2) Ash pits and solid waste landfills – the proposal is that they be built nearly adjacent to the river. Santee Cooper has indicated they are going to downsize those and move them a little farther away from the river. DNR feels that this is still inappropriate. Mr. Frampton has given strong indication to Santee Cooper leadership that we can’t have that kind of activity on the river bank posing that potential threat to the river, the aquatic resources, and the downstream users. DNR’s Marsh Furniture Tract is directly across the river and the Woodbury Tract is downstream.
3) The development of a comprehensive mitigation plan. Mr. Perry noted that there have been some preliminary discussions with their consultants as to what it would take.
Mr. Perry stated that this is resubmittal of previously applied for permits, Navigable Waters and 401 Certification, through DHEC. The 404 cannot be applied for until the EIS process has run its course and there is a record of decision and DNR will have ample opportunity to comment on the DEIS and the final EIS. There will be many more scoping meetings.
Chairman McShane asked that Board Members be kept apprised of this issue.
Mr. Frampton stated that DNR is not concentrating on the mercury issue as much as some other entities. Although we are concerned it is felt that all others involved will express the concern on this issue. Mr. Frampton noted that DNR will be high profile on the ash pits and solid waste landfills.
Mr. Perry stated that the summary of the letter is in the last paragraph respectfully requesting DHEC to hold all permits in abeyance until all the information that needs to be gathered is available.
- Deputy Directors Reports
- Outreach and Support Services
Carole Collins, Deputy Director, Outreach and Support Services, noted that she has an item for discussion in executive session.
- Marine Resources
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director, Marine Resources, gave the Board an update on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s activity on red snapper and vermilion snapper. Mr. Boyles recognized and commended Linda Renshaw, upon her retirement, on her work with the public affairs office.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Steve de Kozlowski, Interim Deputy Director, Land, Water and Conservation, reported on the Governor’s Savannah River Committee meeting that was held December 1, 2008, and the Corps of Engineers Regional Water Resources Workshop held on December 9 - 10, 2008.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, gave the Board a brief report on the sea shell collection at Botany Bay. Mr. Carmichael distributed and reviewed the draft Turkey Survey brochure.
- Law Enforcement Nothing further to report.
- Executive Session
At this time, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the utilization of the Colonial Pipeline Mitigation Funds by Greenville County for acquisition of identified parcels in Greenville County, not to exceed appraisal value per parcel, subject to approval by the Board. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meetings
The January Board meeting will be held Thursday, January 15, 2009, in Myrtle Beach.
The February Board meeting will be held Friday, February 13, 2009, in Charleston.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.