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National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District to evaluate the effect of proposed projects on both the environment and human health and welfare.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are used when there is not a significant effect to the environment or human health and welfare. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is used when the effect is significant. A Draft EA and Draft FONSI are issued to state and federal natural resource agencies, stakeholder groups, and other interested parties for a 30–day comment period.

We evaluate all comments received prior to deciding to continue with the proposed project and finalizing the EA and FONSI. Below is a list of significant projects in South Carolina and their NEPA documents. If you are looking for documents for projects not listed below, please contact CESAC-PM@sac.usace.army.mil.

Myrtle Beach Reach 2 (City of Myrtle Beach) Rehabilitation – January 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District is currently involved in the planning phase of an emergency beach rehabilitation to portions of Myrtle Beach along the Grand Strand of South Carolina. The Myrtle Beach Storm Damage Reduction Project was authorized for construction by Section 101 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1990, Public Law 101-640, dated November 28, 1990 (WRDA 90): “MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA. The authorized project requires the construction of separate protective beach in three separate reaches, North Myrtle Beach (Reach 1); Myrtle Beach (Reach 2), and Garden City/Surfside Beach (Reach 3).” The City of Myrtle Beach is the non-federal sponsor for Reach 2. Rehabilitation of Reach 2 is needed now to repair damages from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Matthew, combined with a periodic renourishment, to provide the full authorized level of protection. Food Control and Coastal Emergency (FCCE) funds through Public Law 114-254, Further Continuing and Security Assistant Appropriations Act of 2017, have been authorized for this action.

The proposed action will place approximately 1,100,000 cubic yards of beach-compatible sand from the approved Cane South borrow area located approximately three square miles offshore from Myrtle Beach in state waters, to approximately nine miles of shoreline along Reach 2 (City of Myrtle Beach) from Station 575 to Station 1050. The project is expected to commence from May to November of 2018.

The USACE has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to communicate new environmental information since City of Myrtle Beach (Reach 2) was last renourished as part of the Myrtle Beach Storm Damage Reduction Project in 2007, and to facilitate coordination between the USACE, resource agencies, and the public. The USACE’s preliminary findings are that the proposed action does not have a significant adverse effect on the environment or human health, and thus, does not warrant the preparation of a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Links to the Draft EA and Draft FONSI can be found below. They are available for review from January 19, 2018 to February 20, 2018. Questions or comments on the draft documents can be directed to Bethney Ward at (843) 329-8162 or Bethney.P.Ward@usace.army.mil.

The USACE and South Carolina DHEC have also issued a Joint Public Notice related to the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Program. Comments are being received on the notice until March 20, 2018. 

Folly River Borrow Area for Folly Beach Renourishment - November 2017

As part of an authorized emergency rehabilitation of Folly Beach due to Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District (USACE) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for use of the Folly River as the source of beach-quality material for the rehabilitation. Approximately 750,000 cubic yards will be dredged and piped from the Folly River to renourish Folly Beach from approximately 8th Street to the north. If funding is available and natural resource agencies agree it is necessary, an additional 40,000 cubic yards of material from the Folly River will be placed onto the Bird Key Stono Seabird Sanctuary.

The work is being conducted as part of the USACE’s ongoing Folly Beach Shore Protection Project. Several renourishments have commenced under this project since 1993, most recently in 2014. Environmental compliance information for the Folly Beach Shore Protection Project and previous renourishment actions can be found in the Appendices of this EA, and further down on this website. The EA and FONSI communicate the finding of the USACE that the proposed use of the Folly River borrow area for the emergency rehabilitation of Folly Beach does not significantly affect the environment or human health, and does not warrant the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. Questions on the  EA or FONSI can be directed to Bethney Ward at (843) 329-8162 or Bethney.P.Ward@usace.army.mil.

 

Myrtle Beach Reach 1 (North Myrtle Beach) Restoration – March 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District is currently involved in the planning phase of a beach emergency repair in the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach) of Horry County, South Carolina. The Myrtle Beach Project was authorized for construction by Section 101 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1990, Public Law 101-640, dated November 28, 1990 (WRDA 90): “MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA. The authorized project requires the construction of separate protective beach in three separate reaches, North Myrtle Beach (Reach 1), Myrtle Beach (Reach 2), and Garden City/Surfside Beach (Reach 3).” The total project reach is 25.3 miles.

Funding is available for Reach 1 North Myrtle Beach. The proposed project is the restoration of a Federal Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project damaged by recent floods and coastal storm.  The proposed project restores approximately 3.3 miles of shoreline along North Myrtle Beach. Preliminary investigations of the quantity of sand required to rebuild the construction template reveal that about 362,000 cubic yards of sand from the Little River borrow site will be placed along North Myrtle Beach.

USACE has prepared a Supplemental EA to communicate new environmental information and update the coordination between USACE, the public, and resource agencies. The draft EA is available for public review from March 17, 2017 until April 17, 2017. The Draft Supplemental EA and the Draft FONSI are below. If you have any questions or require additional information at this time, please contact Jesse Helton at (843) 329-8145 or by email at jesse.s.helton@usace.army.mil.

Last year, The Corps prepared an EA with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Reach 3 (Garden City/Surfside) of the Myrtle Beach Storm Damage Reduction Project.  The project was anticipated to have been constructed throughout the fall and winter of 2016/2017; however, due to contracting constraints the project construction was postponed.  The Corps now intends to issue a contract for the construction of both Reach 1 and 3 and the same time.  Documentation for Reach 3 is available for reference under the Reach 3 Section of this web page.

Lake Marion Regional Water System - Dorchester Reach - September 2016

This project is an extension of the Lake Marion Regional Water System. The project would connect new 20 to 16-inch potable water transmission main to an existing 16-inch water transmission main near the Town of Harleyville and travel southward approximately 56,000 feet (10.6 miles) to near the town of Ridgeville. The route of the water transmission main would follow US Highway 178 to US Highway 78, then follow US Highway 78 to its junction with SC Highway 27 where the project would terminate. With future expansions of the system to beyond the town of Ridgeville, the proposed project is expected to satisfy the current and future potable water supply needs for a large portion of the western half of Dorchester County.

Myrtle Beach Reach 3 (Garden City/Surfside Beach) Renourishment - August 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District is currently involved in the planning phase of a beach re-nourishment effort in the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach) of Horry County, South Carolina. The Myrtle Beach Project was authorized for construction by Section 101 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1990, Public Law 101-640, dated November 28, 1990 (WRDA 90): “MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA. The authorized project requires the construction of separate protective beach in three separate reaches, North Myrtle Beach (Reach 1), Myrtle Beach (Reach 2), and Garden City/Surfside Beach (Reach 3).” The total project reach is 25.3 miles.

Currently, funding is only available for Reach 3, Garden City/Surfside. The proposed project is a periodic nourishment of a previously approved USACE Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project. The project provides for renourishment of approximately 7.7 miles of shoreline from Myrtle Beach State Park to a point approximately 2 miles north of Murrells Inlet. Preliminary investigations of the quantity of sand required to rebuild the construction template reveal that about 700,000 cubic yards of sand from the Surfside borrow site will be placed along Garden City and Surfside Beach. It is likely that a portion of the project will use sand from the outer continental shelf (OCS) and a portion will come from inside the OCS boundary. USACE intends to request a noncompetitive lease from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for OCS sand from the Surfside borrow area and BOEM is a cooperating agency on this project.

USACE and BOEM have prepared a Supplemental EA to communicate new environmental information and update the coordination between USACE, the public, and resource agencies. The draft EA was available for public review from May 10, 2016 until June 9, 2016. After reviewing comments received, USACE finalized the Supplemental EA and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact as the project does not constitute an action that would significantly affect the environment or human health. The Final Supplemental EA and the USACE FONSI is below. BOEM will be issuing a separate FONSI before the start of the project. If you have any questions or require additional information at this time, please contact Mark Messersmith at (843) 329-8162 or by email at mark.j.messersmith@usace.army.mil.

Charleston Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site - July 2016

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Region 4, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Charleston District has prepared a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on modification of the Charleston Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) offshore Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina. A draft of this document was made available for public review in December 2015 and January 2016.

The EA was jointly prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District to fulfill the reporting requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. The EPA is the lead Federal agency and the USACE is a cooperating agency. The EA provides the information necessary to evaluate need and alternatives to the modification of the ODMDS pursuant to Section 102 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) of 1972, as amended. The purpose of the ODMDS modification is to accommodate disposal of dredged material from the planned Charleston Harbor Deepening Study (called “Post 45”), as well as maintenance dredged material and dredged material from non-Federal entities. The EA considers six action alternatives for meeting continued and anticipated dredging needs. Two alternatives are carried forward for detailed analysis. Alternative 1 is the preferred alternative. Although it designates a new ODMDS of approximately 9.8 mi2, it would formally de-designate approximately 10.4 mi2 of the current ODMDS. All planned dredged material for disposal at the ODMDS must meet the environmental criteria established in EPA’s Ocean Dumping Regulations. The EA contains a Draft Site Management and Monitoring Plan (SMMP) (Appendix C). The MPRSA requires that these plans be developed prior to designation with an opportunity for public comment.

On July 13, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency posted a proposed rule in the Federal Register. Rulemaking is the final step in the Section 102 site designation process. The proposed rule is open for comment until August 12, 2016. Please see https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/13/2016-16584/ocean-dumping-modification-of-an-ocean-dredged-material-disposal-site-offshore-of-charleston-south to review the proposed rule.

If there are any questions concerning this ODMDS modification, please contact Mr. Mark Messersmith, USACE at mark.j.messersmith@usace.army.mil, or Mr. Gary Collins, USEPA, at collins.garyw@epa.gov.

Murrells Inlet Federal Navigation Project

Authorized in 1971 and constructed between 1977 and 1981, the Murrells Inlet Navigation Project consists of two jetties, a deposition basin, an entrance channel, two inner channels and a turning basin. The initial project provided for an Entrance Channel 300 feet wide, 10 feet deep and extends 3,900 feet from –12-foot ocean contour.  Inner Channel A is 200 feet wide, 10 feet deep and extends from the entrance channel to the mouth of Main Creek, approximately 2000 feet.  Inner Channel B is 90 feet wide, 8 feet deep and extends to an old Army crash boat dock where it terminates with a turning basin 300 feet long and 150 feet wide.  The Auxiliary Channel is 200 feet wide, 10 feet deep and is approximately 1000 feet long.  The Entrance Channel is stabilized by ocean jetties extending seaward 3,445 feet and 3,319 feet on the north and south sides of the Inlet, respectively (Figure I). The north jetty was constructed with a weir section at the north end to allow for passage of sediment within the littoral drift traveling essentially between the shoreline and the –4-foot contour.  Inside the north jetty is a deposition basin that has the capacity to hold up to 600,000 cubic yards of material.  The project resulted in approximately 1,103,300 cubic yards being initially excavated. 

 

The project also authorized routine maintenance of the federal channel.  Historically, past maintenance was limited to the entrance channel, the depositional basin, Inner Channel A and the upper reaches of Inner Channel B.  The materials that were excavated with both initial construction and previous maintenance efforts was used to either enhance the storm damage reduction project on Garden City Beach or placed within the intertidal zone of the Huntington Beach State Park, near the terminal end of the South jetty.  The material place on Huntington Beach State Park served to restore shorebird habitat and provide protection for the jetty.  The impacts of the previous maintenance projects are addressed in a 2001 Environmental Assessment completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Polk Swamp - June 2016

Polk Swamp is a Continuing Authorities Program Section 206 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project. The project is located west of the Town of St. George in Dorchester County, S.C., and begins just south of Polk Swamp’s intersection with Interstate 95 and follows Polk Swamp for approximately five miles to the swamp’s intersection with US Highway 15. This study was conducted under Section 206, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996 (P. L. 104-303), as amended. The goals of this study were to restore the natural hydro period of Polk Swamp, remove invasive vegetation and prevent reestablishment, and to restore the cypress-tupelo and bottomland hardwood forest that historically existed there. With approval of the Final EA and FONSI, project construction is hereby approved to start.

ASLAC MRAP - November 2014

Draft Environmental Assessment for Establishing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Storage and Repair Facilities at Joint Base Charleston/Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston, South Carolina.

To accomplish this mission, the Army proposes to construct and operate enclosed MRAP vehicle storage space, a vehicle maintenance facility, an armory, and supporting facilities. This action would result in the construction and operation of enclosed MRAP vehicle storage spaces, a vehicle maintenance facility, an armory, and supporting facilities. The enclosed vehicle storage space would consist of 12 dehumidified metal buildings of approximately 133,000 square feet each, a vehicle maintenance facility consisting of a 53,544 SF, 38-bay, metal building, a concrete-hardened 9000 square foot armory, and supporting facilities such as utilities and connections, lighting, parking, walkways, curb and gutter, and storm drainage. All constructed facilities would be of permanent construction. 

The proposed facilities would be constructed on a 95 acres wooded tract of land north and adjacent to the existing ASLAC facilities. The project area contains 0.76 acres of jurisdictional wetlands that may be impacted, however, the project area is located out of the floodplain and will not impact any federally listed species, critical habitat, or any known cultural or historic resources.

 

Folly Beach Renourishment- January 2005

This project was the first periodic renourishment of the Folly Beach Storm Damage Reduction Project that was originally constructed in 1993. The purpose of the project was to reduce storm damage to structures and infrastructure on Folly Beach.

  • Environmental and Biological Assessments

Lake Marion Regional Water System - Harleyville Reach - August 2014

This project is an extension of the Lake Marion Regional Water System. A new 16-inch potable water main will connect to an existing 24-inch water main near the Town of Holly Hill and will follow the SC Highway 453 corridor approximately 6-½ miles southward to the Town of Harleyville. With future expansion of the system beyond the Town of Harleyville, the proposed project is expected to satisfy the current and future potable water supply needs for a large portion of the western half of Dorchester County.

Charleston Harbor Deepening- 1996

In 1996, Charleston District prepared a Feasibility Study and an Environmental Assessment to support deepening Charleston Harbor to 45 feet. These documents are available for download.

Edisto Beach - April 2014

The Edisto Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project successfully completed a Civil Works Review Board (CWRB) with Headquarters USACE and South Atlantic Division on Thursday, March 20, 2014.  With this approval, State and Agency Review began on Thursday, April 3, 2014 and will end on Monday, May 5, 2014.  The draft proposed Chief’s Report and Interim Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (with appendices) are provided below.

Folly Beach Renourishment - August 2013

Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for the Folly Beach Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction project. This project is the renourishment of a previously approved project. The original nourishment of Folly Beach occurred in 1993, with subsequent renourishment projects occurring in 2005 and 2007. The Corps is working on this project in cooperation with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. 

Goodbys Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant- June 2011

This project involves the construction of a regional wastewater treatment plant in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. The proposed project consists of approximately 31 miles of wastewater transmission lines and a wastewater treatment plant constructed adjacent to Goodbys Creek near the intersection of U.S. Highway 301 and U.S. Highway 176. The wastewater treatment facility will serve the wastewater needs of the adjacent Matthews Industrial Park, the proposed Jafza International logistics/distribution center near Santee, expected residential development in unincorporated areas of southern Calhoun County, expected commercial development at the intersections of Hwy 176/I-95 and Hwy 15/I-95, and some of the wastewater needs for the Towns of Elloree and Santee. The treatment plant facility will use a membrane bioreactor treatment system to achieve tertiary treatment standards. The treated effluent will be discharged onto upland drip disposal fields in the vicinity of the treatment plant. The Corps is working on this project in cooperation with USDA Rural Development, Lake Marion Regional Water Agency, and Orangeburg County

Charleston Harbor Advanced Maintenance Dredging- September 2009

The Charleston District has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to cover maintenance dredging depths not addressed in the 1996 Feasibility Study and 1996 EA for deepening and widening Charleston Harbor. The 1996 Report/EA discussed dredging depths of 45 feet plus 2 feet of advanced maintenance and 2 feet of allowable overdepth (45+2+2). However, because of high shoaling rates, some sections of the harbor were dredged to depths of either 45 feet plus 4 feet of advanced maintenance and 2 feet of allowable overdepth (45+4+2) or 45 feet plus 6 feet of advance maintenance and 2 feet of allowable overdepth (45+6+2). The additional advance maintenance dredging allows the harbor to be maintained on a 12 to 18-month frequency instead of a 6-month frequency.

Myrtle Beach Renourishment- July 2007

Environmental Assessment for the Grand Strand Storm Damage Reduction Project in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach & Surfside Beach, South Carolina in Horry & Georgetown Counties – Myrtle Beach and vicinity, known as the Grand Strand, is a major recreational and economic resource for the state of South Carolina. The main attraction to the Grand Strand is the coastal beaches. Despite state and local efforts to protect and preserve the beach resources, the problems of protecting existing coastal development from erosion and winter storm tides remain an extreme concern. The recommended plan involved the construction of 25.4 miles of protective beach on three independent reaches. All nourishment came from offshore borrow areas. These borrow areas are from 1.5 to 5 miles offshore from the beaches to be nourished.