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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2011

DHEC permitting agreement fosters less phosphorus in Lake Greenwood

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A group of Upstate utilities are part of a unique permitting agreement to reduce phosphorus levels in Lake Greenwood, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

"We're excited because we believe that by taking this proactive approach, in cooperation with the sewer utilities, Lake Greenwood's water quality will be better," said David Wilson, chief of DHEC's Bureau of Water. "We've set in place a first-of-its-kind phosphorus trading agreement that provides a better and less expensive way to control the overall amount of phosphorus being released."

Wilson said DHEC issued 12 permits in the Saluda River watershed upstream of Lake Greenwood requiring the entire group of sewer providers to collectively agree on how much phosphorus each utility would discharge. Each permit is linked to that agreement and signed by DHEC and the utilities.

"While the Saluda River arm of Lake Greenwood is not currently listed as being impaired for excessive phosphorus, these permit decisions are designed to keep phosphorus levels in check," Wilson said.

For more information about phosphorus in Lake Greenwood, see DHEC's website at: http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/docs/shed_saluda_faq.pdf. For more information about the Saluda River Basin, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/shed/saluda.htm.

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Note to reporters and editors: The 12 permits were issued to eight utilities. The eight utilities include: Belton, Easley Combined Utilities, Pelzer, Renewable Water Resources, United Utility Companies, Ware Shoals, West Pelzer and Williamston.

For media inquiries:
Adam Myrick – (803) 898-3884
Email – myrickar@dhec.sc.gov
MNR0495