COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 13, 2006 - As part of its effort to obtain a new license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Saluda Hydro Facility, SCE&G has commissioned archeological surveys around Lake Murray. In order to increase participation and allay any concerns regarding the process, SCE&G offers the following frequently asked questions and answers:
1) What is the likelihood of finding a significant archaeological site? It is impossible to say with certainty what the likelihood of finding an archaeological site is on any given property, but only a small number of properties have sites of any archaeological significance. Of those, only a small fraction of those ever turn out to be eligible for listing in the National Register.
2) What if a site is found but it is not significant? Then there is no requirement for either SCE&G to take any action whatsoever regarding the site - it's as if the site doesn't exist. Only sites that are eligible or listed on the National Register require additional consideration.
3) What if a site is found that is eligible for the National Register? Even then there are ordinarily no requirements for the property owner to do anything. The only time a landowner would be responsible for a site would be if they were to apply for a federal permit, license, approval, or money (or a DHEC mining permit) for work to be conducted at the property (e.g., a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dredging Permit). But if any such permit, license, etc. were to be applied for, an archaeological survey would be required anyway.
The benefit of having the survey done is that if the landowner ever does need a Federal permit, then the archaeological survey work has already been done and they would not have to pay for a survey of that area when applying for a permit. They could just point to the results in our report. Currently, only SCE&G and FERC would be responsible for taking into consideration any damage to a significant site that is being caused by the Saluda Hydroelectric Project. Also, any mitigation measures would have to be approved by the landowner before they were implemented.
4) Could my property be taken by SCE&G or the government as a result of any survey findings? No - eminent domain never applies to an archaeological site.
In summary, the likelihood of finding anything significant is very small, with the likelihood of the landowner having to do anything with the site being even smaller, and then only limited to instances where a Federal permit is required.
For additional information concerning the archeological surveys, contact Bill Argentieri with SCE&G at (803) 217-9162.
SCE&G is a subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, S.C. SCANA is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the Company's Web site at www.scana.com.