Updates - Congaree River

  • In March 2018, after meeting with DHEC and community stakeholders about the viability of a modified removal action, SCE&G (now Dominion Energy) sent a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) requesting additional information on the permitting requirements for a modified removal action alternative.
  • In May 2018, the USACOE responded to SCE&G’s letter and indicated that there was potential that a modified removal action could be permitted.  Additionally, the current Nationwide Permit for a capping alternative would remain in place and active per the permit conditions until another permit was issued.
  • On June 22, 2018, DHEC requested SCE&G evaluate the potential for a modified removal action on the Congaree River.  A modified removal action would involve constructing a smaller cofferdam or a series of smaller cofferdams to remove impacted sediments.  A modified removal action would allow for the removal of contamination from areas of the river that are most recreated, areas where there is the most potential for exposure, and remove a substantial volume of the coal tar from the river.
  • DHEC met with SCE&G, Congaree Riverkeeper, property owner representatives, City of Columbia, and the SC Governor’s Office in July and again in November to try to define the boundaries of a modified removal action. SCE&G submitted an updated Preliminary Removal Action Work Plan in September and then a Conceptual Plan for a Modified Removal Action in December.  These documents used new data to update knowledge of the river bottom and then presented a modified removal action as agreed upon by DHEC and the stakeholders.  

DHEC will be presenting this Conceptual Plan for a Modified Removal Action as the preferred remedy for the site to the public in a meeting on April 2, 2019, at 6:30 pm in the EdVenture Canal Room.