New Waterkeeper program to shed light on local industrial polluters

Did you know that there are 113 active permits allowing the legal discharge of pollutants in the Charleston Harbor watershed?

Charleston Waterkeeper is currently undergoing the task of reviewing all permits designated within its local jurisdiction while working to highlight the vital component of public participation in the fight to protect the public’s right to clean water.

As an advocate for clean water, Charleston Waterkeeper aims to ensure industrial polluters are compliant with mandatory regulations and that necessary enforcement is administered. The organization will examine the past five years of discharge reports to determine which polluters within the local watershed have been and are in violation of the Clean Water Act and also to evaluate how well state and federal agencies are able to enforce current laws.

Here's some background on the water pollution discharge law in South Carolina:

Since 1975, all existing industrial polluters in South Carolina were obligated to apply for a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency in order to discharge into waters of the U.S. A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is by definition, “typically a license issued by the government to facilitate granting permission to discharge a specified amount of pollutant into a waterway(s) under particular conditions.”

It is especially important, particularly in a time of dwindling government resources, that citizens take responsibility for ensuring that the laws that are already in place to protect our natural resources are followed and violators are reported and punished.

For more information about the NPDES permit review program being administered by Charleston Waterkeeper or to find out how to get involved with the organization, visit

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