COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) – The coal ash landfill is a no go for now.
After months of meetings, the Colleton County Zoning Board denied SCE&G's landfill proposal in Walterboro. SCE&G wanted a zoning exception to put a 1,000-acre coal ash landfill in a rural part of the county.
"We really feel great about the decision of the zoning board rendered," said Walterboro resident Melvin Ancrum. It was a tense hearing from both sides."
The zoning board vote was a tie with two voting yes and two members voting no. Without a majority, the proposal didn't pass.
The zoning board said it was the most difficult decision to make before deciding not to pass the landfill. During the meeting, the board was given a petition signed by 944 Colleton County residents against the coal ash landfill.
Before the meeting even started, more than a hundred people waited outside to get in and even after the meeting had started, people outside watched the proceedings on monitors.
"I'm very happy and really happy for the people of Colleton County," said Nancy Cavel with the Coastal Conservation League.
The final meeting wasn't nearly as packed as others before it, but that didn't make a difference because it seemed the voice of Colleton County was heard loud and clear.
Cave held a press conference before the meeting to give the Walterboro community momentum heading into it decision.
"It's always nice to have a victory," she said. "But it's always nice to celebrate with the people that worked so hard for it."
SCE&G now has 30 days to file an appeal, which will be heard at a circuit court.
Last month, more than 100 people were shut out of a public meeting on the issue. The doors to the county courthouse were closed after the meeting room filled and those left outside complained that they weren't heard.