Santee Cooper Blog

Navigating the Waters of the United States

April 15, 2015   By Jay Hudson in Energy Matters
In order to determine what constitutes "jurisdictional" bodies of water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers actually has a definition of "Waters of the U.S." This definition began with the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 as "navigable waters, or tributaries thereof" when the Corps was assigned the responsibility of regulating crossings and maintaining waterways typically for transportation and commerce. Dredging the Charleston Harbor channel is a local example. 

Many years ago, during an update to the Clean Water Act , the Corps of Engineers was given responsibility to regulate wetlands, and the definition of jurisdictional "Waters of the U.S." took on a much more important meaning. Over the years, through various legal decisions, this definition narrowed to include those water bodies and features that were connected to a flowing water body, like a stream or lake. Swampy areas that were not directly connected were considered "isolated wetlands" and were excluded fro... Continue Reading >>

Feeling renewed

April 08, 2015   By Jessica Yourko in Green Power
Instead of a big family gathering last weekend with tons of casseroles, decadent desserts and millions of dyed eggs, we did things a little differently. Without much encouragement, my family agreed to spend the entire day on my husband's family farm just getting back to our roots.

We played in the dirt, fished in the pond and were chased by the chickens. The sun was shining, the weather was warm, the flowers were blooming, and the bees were humming everywhere. I guess you could say it was a storybook kind of day.

Luckily, several baby goats made their grand appearance just before we arrived. Seeing the full circle of life — watching the new kids waiting for their mother to feed them, the new moms dutifully standing guard over their offspring and the older goats grazing in the field — made me think about how important caring for our natural habitat really is.

Like moms of all species trying to protect their young, Santee Cooper a... Continue Reading >>

Spring is here. Can you dig it?

April 01, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Safety
Spring is in the air, literally. It's dusting porches and making cars look like they have a fluorescent sheen to them. Although I'm not a huge fan of pollen — just ask my allergist — I am a huge fan of spring and of landscaping my yard with beautifully hued flowers and tropical plants.

Planting for me is about the end product and getting to sit back on a sunny day to admire the view with a cold glass of lemonade. The process of planting, though, can sometimes lead to trouble. Running into roots and pulling out trees, and sneezing the whole time when doing it, are minor distractions compared to what could happen.

We may not think about it much, but many of us have utility lines buried in our yards, silently lurking and working under the turf. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have them there. But one wrong clip with a shovel, and there could be trouble.

To stay safe while digging, anyone planning to plant should contact South... Continue Reading >>

A comfortable home may need an ally

March 25, 2015   By Susan Mungo in Reduce The Use
Spring has finally arrived! While I love the idea that summer is just around the corner, I cannot seem to get comfortable. Are you like me and having trouble figuring out what to wear? The mornings and evenings still say sweater or even coat, yet there have been days lately when I have reached for my car's air conditioner.

Our wardrobe may be creating hot and cold issues for us, but did you know this can also be a time when your HVAC system struggles to keep you comfortable?  This can become a serious problem if you have neglected it over the winter.

 Proper maintenance can help keep your system running smoothly so you stay comfortable, no matter the season. Comfort aside, if your system is not running optimally, it can also cost you a pretty penny. The difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10% to 25%.

As you check off your spring cleaning duties this year... Continue Reading >>

Remembering John Rainey

March 18, 2015   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper History
The major printed news outlets in the state noted the March 14 passing of John Stringer Rainey, who served as chairman of the Santee Cooper Board of Directors from 1990 to 2000.

I had the privilege of getting to know Chairman Rainey during his service as chairman, and the more time I got to spend around him the more I grew to admire and respect him. He was a man of character and principle — and those principles would sometimes put him on a collision course with the status quo. In many ways, he was a rebel. I've long viewed him as such and wondered what he would think of that characterization.

Rainey was an Anderson native, the son of a physician. He attended McCallie School, an exclusive prep school in Chattanooga, Tenn. He told me his roommate was Carroll Campbell, the future South Carolina governor.

The young Rainey attended the University of Virginia and then the University of South Carolina School of Law. He later served as an inf... Continue Reading >>

It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in South Carolina

March 11, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Storms and Outages
In her proclamation declaring March 8-14 Severe Weather Awareness Week in South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley said, "A well-informed public educated in necessary preparedness measures is less likely to suffer personal injury, loss of life, and property damage in the wake of severe weather."

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), the National Weather Service (NWS), and the South Carolina Broadcasters Association (SCBA) jointly sponsor Severe Weather Awareness Week to remind people that severe weather is a significant hazard in South Carolina, and people need to take the necessary safety precautions .

Earlier this week, SCEMD held a statewide disaster exercise that included more than 5,000 first responders, members of the National Guard, and emergency managers at locations across South Carolina. The purpose of this exercise was to test the state's response to an emergency scenario. Today, public schools, state and local emergency manage... Continue Reading >>