- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State regulators have cleared the way for rebuilding a seawall in Georgetown County, despite an almost 30-year-old state ban on the structures.

An appeals panel of the Department of Health and Environmental Control agreed Monday to allow rebuilding the wall at the Debordieu resort north of Georgetown, The State newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/1D5iB4N).

The wall is expected to protect about two-dozen high-end beach homes at the resort between Myrtle Beach and Georgetown.

The newspaper reported there were questions as to whether the panel could have refused the permit after state lawmakers put language in last year’s state budget allowing the seawall to be rebuilt.

Legislators, led by Sen. Ray Cleary of Georgetown, were in favor of the seawall and wanted to help property owners whose beach houses faced heavy damage if an existing wooden seawall failed.

Since state lawmakers approved the new wall, Debordieu landowners have widened the beach through a renourishment project. But the renourished beach is expected to eventually wash away, exposing the seawall.

Environmental groups said they will almost certainly appeal to circuit court.

The state’s Beachfront Management Act passed in 1988 prohibits seawalls because the water washing against them can aggravate erosion by washing away sand at the foot of and next to the walls.


Information from: The State, https://www.thestate.com

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