Environmental Groups Advocate for improved Saluda River Water Quality

On December 11, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) approved new standards for dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the Saluda River in South Carolina. These standards are supported by environmental groups - including the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (SCCCL) - that are currently engaged in hydropower relicensing on the Saluda River. These standards await final approval from the DHEC Board, followed by a legislative process that will allow the South Carolina Legislature time to act on the proposed change.

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Victory in the Courts for Alabama's Tallapoosa River!

On April 11, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of American Rivers, Alabama Rivers Alliance, and Lake Watch Lake Martin on the question of what action triggers the need for a Clean Water Act section 401 water quality certification.

In November, a three-judge panel in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can amend a hydropower license to allow a power company to modify dam operations without requiring a water quality permit from the state water quality agency.

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South Carolina' s Saluda River Deserves Water Quality Enforcement

Located near Columbia, the Saluda River project in South Carolina includes the 48,000 acre Lake Murray and affects 10 miles of the Saluda River and 50 miles of the downstream Congaree River.

In April 2002, due to serious safety concerns, FERC directed Saluda project owner South Carolina Energy and Gas Company (SCE&G) to construct a new dam immediately downstream of the existing dam. In August 2002, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) issued a water quality certification for the dam rehabilitation project.

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10,000 acres of land removed from Peshtigo River projects

In a September 15 order, the Commission granted an application by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation to amend the project boundaries of five of its projects to remove 9,738 acres of land. All but 389 acres will be transferred to the State of Wisconsin to become a part of the Peshtigo River State Forest. The remaining 389 acres are earmarked for private development.

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