S.C. Code Regs. 72-309 - Criteria for Designated Watersheds

Current through Register Vol. 46, No. 3, March 25, 2022

The concept of designated watersheds is intended, not only to prevent existing water quantity and water quality problems from getting worse, but also to reduce existing flooding problems and to improve existing water quality or meet State Water Quality Standards through a reduction of the impacts of NPS pollution in selected watersheds. Further, the designation of watersheds under this section may also be used to protect watersheds which do not currently have significant water quality or quantity problems, but which require protection in order to avoid or mitigate the occurrence of future problems which might impair current or protected multiple water uses or important water resources within the watershed. Criteria is established for designated watersheds and these criteria will depend on whether the specific problems of the watershed are water quantity or water quality oriented. Water quantity and water quality concerns will be considered in all designated watersheds, but the overall emphasis for each designated watershed will depend on its existing and future water quality and quantity issues as well as consideration of the multiple offstream and instream water uses within the watershed.

A. To initiate consideration of a watershed for Designated Watershed status, a watershed shall be recommended by a local government or combinations of local governments through the passage of a local ordinance to the Commission. Upon recommendation to the Commission, the Commission shall publish the request in the State Register and contact all involved agencies at the local and state level within 30 days after receipt of the designation request and their input received prior to any consideration of the designation is made.
B. Included with the recommendation of a watershed for Designated Watershed status to the Commission shall be an identification of the specific problems that exist in the watershed so that the pursuit of a watershed study is warranted. Designation as a Designated Watershed requires approval by the Commission, the South Carolina Water Resources Commission and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. A significant water quantity or water quality problem must exist that would support this designation. Also, inclusion of a watershed as a Designated Watershed will necessitate a public hearing process. The process of designating a watershed shall be based on the following information:
(1) An estimate of the potential for land disturbing activities to be initiated in the basin which would be regulated under this regulation. This estimate could utilize historical and projected population growth, land use data, and other such appropriate measures to estimate the nonpoint source pollution contribution or stormwater runoff which could be reduced or avoided,
(2) An inventory of the offstream and instream water uses in the watershed to quantify and characterize the benefits associated with reducing current or avoiding future water resources problems in the watershed. These could include water supply intakes, State navigable waters, recreational resources, fisheries resources, wetlands, or other such important uses,
(3) Water quality data, collected through either the statewide water quality inventory, or other special studies inclusive of benthic macroinvertebrate data,
(4) Historical and estimated flood damage and/or estimated flood protection benefits to both private and public property in the watershed,
(5) Status of current or description of proposed State and Federal flood protection and flood plain management program(s) and activities in the watershed, and
(6) Dangers to public health and welfare.
C. Following an adequate review of the recommendation, staff of the Commission, South Carolina Water Resources Commission, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shall meet to review and discuss their decision regarding designation. The staff shall prepare a statement in support of, or objection to, the proposed designation within 120 days following receipt of the recommendation by the Commission. The statement shall be voted upon by the appointed commissioners of each respective agency. Ex-officio members of the South Carolina Water Resources Commission representing the Land Resources Conservation Commission and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shall abstain from voting regarding designation at the meeting of the South Carolina Water Resources Commission. Approval by each of the three agencies shall constitute designation.
D. Upon approval of designation, a Watershed Advisory Committee shall be established to advise and provide guidance in the development and conduct of the watershed master plan. The Commission, South Carolina Water Resources Commission, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will appoint the Watershed Advisory Committee which shall include State, District, local government representatives, and also representatives of the regulated community within the watershed and other persons which may be affected by the plan.
E. The general components contained in the actual watershed study shall be the following items:
(1) Stormwater quantity or water quality problem identification,
(2) The overall needs of the watershed including the additional impacts of new land disturbing activities,
(3) Alternative approaches to address the existing and future problems,
(4) A selected approach that includes the overall costs and benefits,
(5) An economic impact analysis of the selected approach,
(6) Schedule for implementation,
(7) Funding sources that are available for the actual implementation of study recommendations, and
(8) A public hearing prior to final Commission, S.C. Water Resources Commission and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control approval of the watershed study.
F. The following goals are to be obtained through the implementation of the Designated Watershed program:
(1) Reduction of existing flooding or water quality impacts,
(2) Prevention of future flooding or water quality impacts, and
(3) Minimization of economic and social losses.
G. Specific plan components of a watershed study shall include, but not be limited to, the following items:
(1) The limits of the watershed.
(2) An inventory of existing water quality data.
(3) An inventory of areas having significant natural resource value as defined in existing State or local studies as they may be impacted by the construction of location of stormwater control structures.
(4) An inventory of areas of historical and archaeological value identified in existing State or local studies as they may be impacted by the construction or location of stormwater control structures,
(5) A map or series of maps of the watershed showing the following information:
(a) Watershed topography,
(b) Significant geologic formations,
(c) Soils information,
(d) Existing land use based on existing zoning,
(e) Proposed land use based on expected zoning or comprehensive plans,
(f) Locations where water quality data were obtained,
(g) Locations of existing flooding problems including floor and corner elevations of structures already impacted, and
(h) 100-year floodplain delineations, water surface profiles, and storm hydrographs at selected watershed location.
(6) An inventory of the existing natural and constructed stormwater management system.
(7) An inventory of historic flood damage sites, including frequency and damage estimates,


S.C. Code Regs. 72-309
Added by State Register Volume 16, Issue No. 6, eff June 26, 1992.

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