Thursday, May 3, 2018 News · The Latest

House Bill 4683: The Shoreline Bill Becomes Law

by Emily Cedzo

Thursday, May 3:

  • The bill was signed into law by Governor McMaster.

Thursday, April 19:

  • The bill, upholding a baseline that will never move more seaward, was passed out of the Senate and sent back to the House for concurrence. The House concurred on April 25 and the bill is heading to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

Thursday, March 29: 

  • The bill was discussed, amended, and passed out of the full Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
  • The non-seaward provision was re-inserted. This represents thoughtful consideration by committee members to uphold important beachfront and fiscal policy.
  • The committee amended the bill so that major impacts from storms within 18 months cannot be included in the revised lines — this helped set a timeline so that this provision didn’t remain open-ended, preventing any future updates.
  • The committee amended the bill to strike the policy of retreat and replace it with “beach preservation.” We’ll need to keep a close eye on this language to better understand what this might entail.
  • A committee member introduced an amendment to establish baselines at erosion control devices, but this was not adopted due to major concerns and it will likely come back up on the floor.
  • Please thank committee members for reinserting the non-seaward provision and for their thoughtful questions and commentary. And please stay tuned because the bill is likely to come up on the Senate floor in a matter of weeks.

Wednesday, March 14:

  • The bill was heard, amended and passed in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Environmental Subcommittee. H. 4683 will be heard next in the full Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, March 29.
  • The bill was amended mostly to clarify certain language with one major change: it no longer includes the non-seaward provision that would prevent new development encroaching on the beach.
  • The non-seaward line represents good management of our beaches but also smart fiscal policy for all taxpayers because every citizen of our state is financially on the hook. The House bill allowed homeowners to choose their 2012 or 2017 lines to be their non-seaward line, which would have been favorable for property owners while balancing the best interests of taxpayers.
  • Please contact members of the Senate committee today to ask that they re-include the non-seaward provision before passing H. 4683.
  • You can find a list of those members here.

Thursday, March 8:

  • H. 4683 passed the House today with three amendments. It will be in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Environmental Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 14.

Thursday, February 15:

  • After passing out of Subcommittee on Tuesday, the Full Committee significantly amended the bill to clarify and improve several sections. The bill will now move to the House floor.
  • Most importantly, the bill no longer seeks to undo the non-seaward baseline we fought so hard for in 2016. The 2012 baseline will stay in place and can never move more seaward — representing not only good beachfront management, but smart fiscal policy to protect SC taxpayers.
  • The bill no longer includes language that asks DHEC to consider “long term commitments” to beach renourishment, as there is no way to scientifically account for future scenarios in methodology.

Friday, February 9:

  • We learned that the bill will be reviewed by a House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Tuesday, February 13.
  • If approved, H. 4683 will move to the full Committee for a vote as early as Thursday.

In its original form, H. 4683 rolled back the landmark 2016 Shoreline Management Bill and eliminated a baseline that would never move more seaward. It attempted to redefine a primary dune and prohibited surveying within two years of a storm. In doing so, H. 4683 originally incentivized risky development closer to active beach, limiting public use and access, and resulting in more expensive, more frequent nourishment and taxpayer bailouts. (By clicking on the bill number, you can view the original bill language or the newly amended version.)

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