January 11, 2006, Columbia, SC - SCE&G has declared a temporary halt to issuing multi-use dock permits on Lake Murray. Multi-use docks are those that accommodate more than four watercraft simultaneously, and typically provide wet storage for commercial marinas, residential housing developments, condominium projects and sail clubs. This moratorium will last at least until the filing of an application for a new license for the Saluda Hydroelectric Project, due no later than August 2008.
According to Jim Landreth, vice president of Fossil/Hydro Operations for SCE&G, the increased pace of development of land surrounding Lake Murray, and the accompanying increased desire for multi-use docks, has spurred the moratorium. "Development around the lake has really taken off in recent years, but our criteria to issue multi-use dock permits has not adjusted to the pace," he said.
"The environmental and recreational impacts of multi-use docks on Lake Murray have not been fully evaluated," continued Landreth. "Maintaining ample public access to the lake is a top priority for us. Our concern is that without a complete understanding of what the impacts are, the proliferation of private multi-use docks may hinder public access. Our desire is not to hamper growth in the area, but rather to protect the very resource that spurs much of that growth."
The best avenue to analyze and revise permit criteria for multi-use docks is currently in place, according to Landreth. "As part of the relicensing process for the Saluda Project, State and federal regulatory agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations, have joined us in reviewing and re-evaluating all aspects of Lake Murray and the shoreline, including multi-use dock permits. The moratorium will allow this group to have a reasoned and thorough analysis of the long-term needs, and, ultimately, provide new permitting criteria."
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 597,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 283,000 customers in 34 counties in the state. Information about SCE&G is available on the company's web site at www.sceg.com.