Permitting the Upstate

Published July 3, 2018
Permitting the Upstate

The Charleston District recently opened a new regulatory satellite office in Greenville, SC. The office will be run by two Charleston District regulators who will cover nine counties. Opening an office in Greenville will save hundreds of hours of travel time each year and thousands of taxpayer dollars.

On March 28th, Charleston District leaders were in Greenville, S.C., to officially open the District’s newest field office. The opening of the Greenville Regulatory Satellite Office signaled the growth of the area and the need for a Corps presence in the Upstate.

The Greenville office is the third regulatory field office the District has opened since 2000, joining Columbia and Conway. The environmental permitting needs around the state have grown tremendously in that time, creating a need for District employees to be more strategically located.

“So much growth has occurred in the upstate in the last few years that our Columbia Regulatory Field Office was having difficulty keeping up with permit applications in a timely manner,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Palazzini, district commander. “In order to provide the level of service that Upstate residents deserve, we’re opening this office to manage the enormous workload and improve customer service to this area of the state.”

The satellite office consists of two project managers who cover nine counties; Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union. Over the past five years, there have been more than 1,700 regulatory actions in those nine counties alone. That averages close to 200 actions per year in those counties. Previously, with the closest office located in Columbia, it was challenging to conduct the required onsite visits and face-to-face meetings due to the distance. At that time, a project manager was driving weekly from Columbia to Greenville, which is approximately 100 miles one-way and three hours roundtrip, to handle this work. With two project managers living and working in the Upstate, approximately 204 hours of travel time per year can be saved, minimizing the impact to both taxpayer dollars and permit processing times. This will allow the District to better balance the developmental needs of the area with the protection of the environment, which is the dual mandate of the Regulatory Division.

“The satellite office will allow us to provide improved services to citizens, businesses and governmental officials,” said Palazzini. “Being in Greenville will improve permit processing time, and, ultimately, maximize the success of the Regulatory program.”

The Greenville Regulatory Satellite Office is located at 150 Executive Center Drive, Suite 205, providing easy access to highways to quickly reach any sites necessary. If you have questions or permitting needs in the Upstate, you can call 864-609-4326.