- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s environmental control agency has denied a Columbia-area utility’s request to continue discharging sewage into the Saluda River.

Director Catherine Heigel said Monday the Department of Health and Environmental Control was left with no other option but to deny the permit to Carolina Water Service.

The agency gives the utility 12 months to tie into the town of Lexington’s sewer system, shut down its treatment plant and stop discharging into the river.

The company can appeal.

Carolina Water services about 2,000 customers in Lexington County. Residents have urged the agency to deny the permit.

Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler called the denial a “huge victory for public health,” saying the utility has pumped far too much pollution into the scenic river.

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