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Environmental Law Program

2004 Student Environmental Law Scholarship

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This page provides links to papers drafted by students enrolled in the Spring 2004 Environmental Advocacy Seminar at the University of South Carolina School of Law (LAWS 804) taught by Professor Kim Diana Connolly. In the Environmental Advocacy Seminar, students from the law school and other graduate programs explore and develop practical advocacy skills in the area of environmental representation.

To enhance the practical nature of the course, the writing component of the Environmental Advocacy Seminar is broadened beyond the typical student papers that are often simply graded and forgotten. In addition to typical academic papers, students can choose to undertake:

" ... applied research, meaning you will generate a document of a more 'practical' nature than traditional scholarship (such as a memorandum, white paper, proposal, etc.). Your applied research can be performed in conjunction with volunteer work for a group or entity involved in environmental advocacy as broadly defined in this class. ... Note: you may not provide legal advice or otherwise engage in the practice of law while doing applied research. Likewise, this project may not be something you would produce for an employer in the normal course of your duties, and you may not be compensated for your work on this project."

The 18-25 page Applied Reserach project can be on almost anything related to environmental advocacy and the law. Stakeholders from all aspects of the environmental and natural resources arena (conservationists, government representatives, industry representatives) throughout South Carolina and the region are invited to suggest topics for student research. In Spring 2004 over thirty Applied Research topics were suggested by outside stakeholders.

To encourage access to and use of student work (both applied research and traditional papers), all Spring 2004 Environmental Advocacy students have agreed to share the results of their work on this Web site. If you have further questions, or would like to suggest timely and interesting Applied Research topics for seminar students this coming spring, please contact Professor Connolly via email: connolly@law.law.sc.edu

Spring 2004 Environmental Advocacy Seminar Paper Abstracts

Erick M. Barbare: Do "Cocktail Party" styled hearings satisfy NEPA's regulatory requirements for public participation?
This paper discusses whether the informal "cocktail party" style hearings held by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) meet the public participation requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These "cocktail party" hearings are hosted by the DOT and a consulting firm in a public location and have staffed stations set up describing the proposed project with a tape recorder and written forms available for public comment. While concluding that such meetings do meet the requirements, the paper suggest ways to change the process that would more meaningfully include the public. [Applied research for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League]
James G. Biel: Wetlands Regulation in South Carolina.
This is a unique paper in the format of a brochure. It explains wetlands regulation in South Carolina. It begins by defining wetlands and their importance. Next, it explains the federal regulatory scheme and how it has changed since the decisions in U.S. v. Riverside Bayview Homes, Inc and SWANCC. Then, it describes the regulatory program in South Carolina. Finally, it concludes with the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and the Coastal Zone Management Act's effects on wetlands regulation. [Applied research for the South Carolina Environmental Law Project]
L. Childs Cantey: Feasibility of implementing non-consumptive user fees for South Carolina's public lands.
This paper argues that there should be fees charged to those who use public lands for non-consumptive uses; the fees would be similar to the license fees charged to hunters and anglers. This would help fund public lands which are experiencing budget cuts. The paper suggests methods for generating funds, including voluntary contributions and mandatory payments. [Applied research for the South Carolina Wildlife Federation]
Andrew W. Countryman: Change in Shoreline and Methods of Control in South Carolina.
This paper examines the multiple causes of shoreline erosion and discusses the ways humans deal with and react to the process. After providing an analysis of different methods of erosion control and the philosophies behind them, the paper discusses South Carolina's erosion control policy and implementation in depth. The paper concludes that South Carolina is a leading state in erosion control policy development.
Perry B. DeLoach: Shrimping the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico: Are Federal and State Regulations on Shrimp Trawling Adequate?
This paper describes the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) by the shrimp trawling industry, and discusses the regulation of, as well as the benefits and problems associated, with TEDs and BRDs. The paper concludes with suggestions for improving current federal and state fishery regulations in this area.
Brandon D. Goff: An Argument for Inclusion of Sargassum as Essiential Fish Habitat in the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Management Plan.
This paper assesses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Secretary's denial of the inclusion of Sargassum as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) in the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Management Plan promulgated by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. It discusses the interconnection between the fishery and Sargassum and explains why denial of Sargassum as part of EFH goes against the purposes of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the best interests of the impacted fishery. [Applied research for a member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council]
Lauren S. Jacobs: The pursuit of restoring peace to the Neuse River.
This paper describes the history and effects of pollution on the Neuse River in North Carolina. It is designed to provide a resource to the residents of North Carolina who live near and are affected by the Neuse River, so that in addition to information about the history and current state of play, it provides extensive appendices with further information about resources and stakeholders. The paper also provides direction for improvement of the water quality of the Neuse and the value that would be gained by a cleaner river.
Robert E. McNair: The Necessity of Deer Management Due to Reduced Habitat Caused by Urban Sprawl and Related Issues.
This paper assesses the impact of urban sprawl on deer populations in South Carolina. After setting forth the legal and regulatory framework in which deer management occurs, the paper suggests that regulated hunting and a community task force should be used to reduce increased deer populations caused by sprawl and related issues.
Patrick Moore, Regulatory Reform and the Proposed Abolition of the Automatic Stay in Environmental Appeals in South Carolina: House Bills 4157 and 4792.
This paper discusses two bills that were under consideration by the South Carolina legislature in 2004, both of which the author argues would have a pervasive effect on how appeals from certain agencies are handled. These changes in the process of judicial review proposed to effect the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) and significantly alter the nature and effectiveness of citizen challenges to environmental permitting decisions. The author argues that passage of the bills would alter fundamental rights of citizens for seemingly unsubstantiated claims of efficiency, and calls for additional measures to insure that environmental permitting agencies have the ability to control the consistency of their policy messages.
Jennifer O'Rourke: South Carolina Rivers: An ASsessment of the Legal Ramifications of Competing Demands for River Water.
This paper discusses the competing uses for interstate rivers traveling through South Carolina. It looks at the legal and policy implications associated with management of these shared rivers and their associated resources. The paper makes suggestions with respect to further management measures on a legal or policy level.
William H. Rhodes: Mercury Pollution: State Efforts to Regulate and Educate the Public.
This paper discusses the problem of mercury pollution and assesses how South Carolina's and the federal governments are regulating this substance. In particular, the paper emphasizes recent federal actions to regulate mercury, including the cap and trade program, and state regulatory actions over coal fired power plants, health care facilities, schools and fish advisories. [Applied research for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control]
C. Matt Slocum: Underground Storage of Petroleum: the Legal and Environmental Effects of Release.
This paper evaluates the laws pertaining to the underground storage of petroleum in the United States and a specific account of these laws within South Carolina. It analyzes the implementation of these laws in the context of a particular remediation effort in the Midlands of South Carolina. It makes recommendations to improve existing law and remedy current problems.
Ryan A. Thrasher: Urban Planning in South Carolina; What has happened and What is Next.
This paper discusses the problems associated with sprawl in South Carolina. In particular, it examines the Richland County Town and Country Plan that is being created to deal with growth in on Midlands County. It concludes with an analysis of the obstacles to full implementation of the plan. [Applied research for the South Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club]
Keary B. Warner: The South Carolina State Transit Authority: a Quality-Growth Alternative for South Carolina's Future Transportation and Land-Use Policies.
This paper focuses on the development of forward-looking pieces of state legislation and governmental restructurings that might prevent the vast majority of future "resource-inefficient" transportation projects. The paper begins with an analysis of the situational factors that contribute to the emphasis on construction versus maintenance, analyzes various alternatives to help right this imbalance, and concludes with a recommended course of action that likely stands the best chance of success for South Carolina. [Applied research for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League]
Tracy L. Wertheim: Let the People Speak: An Investigation into How the Proposed Reforms to the New Source Review Exacerbate Problems with Administrative Advocacy.
This paper suggests that public participation is an essential part of democracy, assessing various methods and approaches to ensuring meaningful public access to and involvement in environmental regulatory decision making. The paper assesses public involvement in the context of the Clean Air Act and the proposed reforms to its New Source Review requirements, and concludes that the public involvement should be expanded, not decreased by the New Source Review Reforms.
Belle White Montgomery: Relicensing the Santee Cooper Project: A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity for Environmentally Conscious Conditions to be Imposed upon FERC Licenses.
This paper discusses the opportunity for local and state actors to intervene on behalf of the environment during the application for the relicensing of the Santee Cooper Project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In particular, the paper looks at requirements under the Federal Power Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and their potential role in the FERC relicensing process.