State lawmakers write letter in opposition to expansion of Awendaw sand mine

State lawmakers write letter in opposition to expansion of Awendaw sand mine
Neighbors in Awendaw say they are concerned about a current sand and clay mine which could soon expand by 10 times its current size. (Source: Live 5 News)

AWENDAW, SC - Two state lawmakers have voiced their opposition to the expansion of a sand mine in Awendaw.

Sen. Stephen Goldfish and Rep. Lee Hewitt sent a joint statement to the Town of Awendaw Planning Department against the expansion of the Southern Mine off Sewee Road.

Draft permits from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control show the company, King Tract LLC, is looking to expand their mine from 5 acres to just shy of 60 acres, eventually leaving a lake in the area after the excavation.

Goldfish and Hewitt said allowing King Tract’s request wound entail “too much risk of harm to too many South Carolinians in pursuing” quiet enjoyment and rural way of life.

“Of particular alarm for many residents is the environmental impact of this project,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

Both men said they were also concerned that the mine is near the Francis Marion National Forest, and that many citizens were concerned that the mine would impact their future enjoyment of the forest.

Community members said they are also concerned about the water that will be discharged during the mining process into the Cape Romain area.

Last year, a DHEC investigation found that the current 5-acre mine had violated its permit by discharging water with low PH levels into surrounding waterways. In response, the facility released a “Corrective Action Plan” to fix the problem for the current mine and its expansion. DHEC has approved the new water management plan.

You can read Goldfish’s and Hewitt’s letter to the planning department below.

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