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Rain or shine and summertime


June 21, 2017   By Raechel Blitchington, Summer Intern in Storms and Outages
Summer in the South is characterized by long, warm days spent on the boat or beach, followed by slightly cooler summer nights that are calm and peaceful.

However, most summer dreamers seem to always forget the inevitable, torrential downpour of scattered thunderstorms that can become a routine occurrence. As a self-proclaimed lover of summer, I spend three-quarters each year dreaming about the warm and sunny summer days to come – or the ones that have just passed.

Despite having experienced 21 summer solstices, I, too, fail to forget the showers that can rain on any summer parade. Most days pose an ambiguous threat of a “30 to 60 percent chance of afternoon scattered thunderstorms.”

Also known as, maybe it will rain, maybe it won’t. When Mother Nature does decide to open the skies, dark, cumulonimbus clouds will begin to form and gather, casting a hazy shadow on what was previously a bright, sunshiny day. In the... Continue Reading >>

Practical considerations of recycling


June 14, 2017   By Elizabeth Kress in Environmental Stewardship
Berkeley County government has recently formed a group called “Keep Berkeley Beautiful.”

This group works to reduce litter, beautify the county, and increase recycling. I joined the group and our motto is “Fight Ugly with Us.” Click here to see their Facebook page. Education on how recycling really works is an important step to increasing recycling. Some places even have a “master recycler” program to train people to recycle in a smarter way.

Let’s start at the beginning with a few of the items that are commonly able to be recycled, and then we’ll discuss the current situation locally.

Plastic containers of types 1 to 7 are numbered that way to help with recycling Paper, including newspaper and mixed office paper, including paperboard. Cardboard- in recycling, this category is for the special strong cardboard that is used in corrugated boxes and packaging. Textiles and clothing – check... Continue Reading >>

Be safe. It’s boating season on the Santee Cooper Lakes


June 07, 2017   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes

Under S.C. law, a child 12 years old or younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device while boating



If you live around lakes Moultrie or Marion, or close by, the lure of the lakes is almost unavoidable. Just about everyone it seems, owns some type of watercraft, from 10-foot-long johnboats to V-8 powered inboard/outboards with that unmistakable rumble.

Safe boating is important and the old highway adage, “Watch out for the other guy,” certainly applies to our waterways, particularly this time of year. There have already been too many boating accidents in 2017 on South Carolina’s lakes and rivers.

While Santee Cooper manages our lakes, law enforcement is largely the domain of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and county sheriff’s departments. SCDNR was out in full force during the long Memorial Day weekend, even offering “courtesy safety checks” at boat landings. Even though your boat may pass a safety check, it might be a good time to ask yourself the following:

Is it... Continue Reading >>

Overton Beach Park is a summer favorite place to cool off


June 02, 2017   By Aaron Grant, Summer Intern in Santee Cooper Lakes

Overton Beach Park on Lake Moultrie features a 400-foot long beachfront.

Now that summer is finally upon us (OK, not officially until June 21, but close enough!) it is our responsibility to go out and enjoy it!

I mean, what is there not to enjoy? The heat index can look more like an Area Code than a temperature forecast. The air can be so thick that you can practically take a bite out of it and a simple walk back to your car can lead to a minor heat stroke.

I suppose that is a rather cynical way of looking at the current season that we will soon cooking in…I mean experiencing.

I’ve just never really been one to cope well with the extreme heat that South Carolina so generously forces down on me.

But as the laws of the universe state, with every negative there comes a positive. Thus, with every 100 degree summer day, there is a refreshing body of water waiting for you to dive into. That refreshing body of water is Lake Moultrie and you can take a dip at the 400-foot waterfront that makes... Continue Reading >>

Take the time to unplug this summer


May 24, 2017   By Raechel Blitchington, Summer Intern in Reduce The Use

Does this look like an “energy vampire” to you? If you leave it plugged in after charging your device, it is. For example, only 5 percent of the power drawn by cellphone chargers are actually used to charge phones. The other 95 percent is wasted when you leave it plugged into the wall, but not into your phone. What do to? Unplug your charger when you are not using it or plug everything on a power strip and turn the switch off.

Summer is almost upon us. The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the feeling of summer freedom is within reach. There is no season better suited for de-stress and distraction, so plan your vacations, sip your boat drink and relax. Or better yet, turn off your brain and unplug your mind.

However, despite the countless joys of summer, there is one shortcoming of the season: higher than normal power bills. When an ice cold sweet tea and a dive into Lake Moultrie can’t cool you down, blasting the air conditioning throughout the long, hot day may seem like the only option.

While cranking the a/c can be unavoidable, there is a simple trick to balance out your electricity bill: unplugging.

Although this time, it’s not about beach days and cocktails. I’m talking about unplugging the unused appliances scattered around your home. Between the toaster, DVR, hair straighter and phone charger, you can accumulate a hefty bill... Continue Reading >>

EPA reconsiders rules


May 17, 2017   By Jay Hudson in Environmental Stewardship
Just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to reconsider the Effluent Limitations Guidelines Rule for Steam Electric Generators.

This rule, which was made final in 2015 and was to take effect after 2019, would lower the water discharge limits primarily for coal-fired power stations. This reconsideration was part of the new administration’s regulatory reform agenda, which I discussed in an April 5 blog .

There is little question that these guidelines need updating. But there is considerable industry opinion that this rule perhaps went overboard in requiring very restrictive limits for some waste streams that may not even be achievable at this time – even with the best available technology.  As a further example, power effluent limits were set at less than one-tenth of the metal limits of hazardous waste incinerators.

For example, metal limits were set such that the only way to achieve them was to use some... Continue Reading >>