The Environment

The South Carolina Republican Party recognizes stewardship of the earth to be one of the chief responsibilities of mankind and therefore holds the preservation and protection of our natural resources as a sacred trust.

We approach our environmental opportunities and responsibilities with the following principles:

  1. Environmental risks/ concerns must be faced accurately. neither exaggerated nor underestimated; environmental remediation must incorporate the concepts of cost/ benefit, risk analysis, and public/ private cooperation.
  2. Environmental progress is integrally related to economic development as economic growth generates the capital to pay for environmental gains and as environmental preservation creates an atmosphere conducive to a high quality of life and economic development.
  3. The right to own, use, and dispose of private property is a fundamental political tenet of all free nations. Property rights are not to be violated by the misuse or overuse of government regulation and should dictate due compensation when a taking occurs.
  4. The United States, in the exercise of her sovereignty, should not “ratify any treaty that moves environmental decisions beyond our democratic process and transfers beyond our shores authority over U. S. property” (1992 Republican National Platform).

We support DHEC’s renewed commitment to: streamlined permitting, local solutions to local problems, environmental self-audit, and a risk based, cost-benefit approach using applied scientific knowledge when enacting regulatory authority.

The Party encourages reasonable and standardized policies to effectively and efficiently promote waste minimization, containment, and reuse (such as recycling, subtitle D landfills, and appropriate land application of solid waste).

The Party recognizes nuclear waste has been generated at the Savannah River Site during its more than forty years of service to the defense of the United States. The Department of Energy, which owns the site, has begun the arduous task of cleaning up contaminated areas. We insist DOE meet all of its cleanup commitments to the state of South Carolina including full utilization of the Defense Waste Processing Facility to vitrify the millions of gallons of high-level waste on site.

With regard to low-level nuclear waste, the Party calls upon all states to honor their interstate commitments and supports the action taken by South Carolina in 1995 to ensure safe disposal of low-level waste by enacting legislation to continue operation of the low-level waste facility at Barnwell. This legislation not only avoided waste storage at numerous sites around the state but also generated millions of dollars for crucial school building needs and a scholarship fund.

South Carolina is endowed with an abundance of natural resources vital to our economy and integral to our quality of life. The integrity of our air, lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, beaches, estuaries and underground aquifers must be reasonably yet soundly preserved for the sake of sustenance, economic development, agricultural advancement, recreation and posterity