Columbia, S.C., Nov. 22, 2004 - South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is extending the deadline for docks at Lake Murray to meet new flotation requirements to Jan. 1, 2007. Originally, dock owners had until Jan. 1, 2005 to retrofit their dock flotation systems with encapsulated foam.
"When we initiated this policy and established a Jan. 1, 2005 deadline, we were not anticipating a lengthy drawdown to build a backup dam at Lake Murray," said Tommy Boozer, who heads SCE&G's lake management department. "We want to thank those property owners who have already made the required changes. Clearly it is to the benefit of the Lake Murray environment that they accomplished this sooner rather than later. But we also understand that the circumstances of the past two years have made it difficult for all docks to be retrofitted, if they were not already done by then.
"For those who haven't yet made the necessary modifications to their docks, we encourage you not to delay making arrangements to get this done as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute. It is not good for the lake and it is not fair to all those who already have acted responsibly to meet this requirement," Boozer said.
SCE&G is extending the original deadline for two years since work around the lake was slowed during the recent drawdown related to the construction of the Lake Murray backup dam. "When we first established this new dock policy, we couldn't foresee a drawdown of the lake spanning two summers. With that unexpected development and the inconvenience of the drawdown, we decided that it was the right thing to do to allow people more time to meet the dock requirements," Boozer said.
In 1995 SCE&G established a policy that all new docks had to be constructed using encapsulated foam billets as floatation devices and that all un-encapsulated billets had to be replaced by Jan. 1, 2005. In 2000, the company sent specific notice to dock owners reminding them that existing docks must be retrofitted to meet the new requirement by Jan. 1, 2005.
Boozer said traditional open foam flotation devices often break apart during storms and are impacted by animals nesting under the docks, creating a major shoreline aesthetics issue.
At the end of this two-year extension, SCE&G will begin a systematic review of Lake Murray docks to identify those that are in non-compliance. At the time, appropriate enforcement actions will be taken.
SCE&G owns and manages Lake Murray and is the largest subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations, telecommunications and other energy-related businesses.