Mid-Atlantic
via Coastal Observer

SC - Judge Upholds State Permit for Debordieu Groins

An environmental group is considering its next step after a state Administrative Law Court judge upheld a permit to build three rock and concrete groins as part of a beach renourishment project at DeBordieu.

The Coastal Conservation League and the Belle W. Baruch Foundation challenged the 2018 permit from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to allow the groins as part of a plan to place up to 650,000 cubic yards of offshore sand on 1.5 miles of beach, starting at the boundary of DeBordieu and Hobcaw Barony.

The Baruch Foundation agreed to settle the case last April when the DeBordieu Colony Community Association agreed to reduce the length and location of the southernmost groin and increase the threshold for mitigation if the groins accelerate erosion at Hobcaw. DeBordieu also agreed to increase a letter of credit to pay for mitigation from $500,000 to $1 million.

The Coastal Conservation League continued to argue against the groins, saying the permit didn’t meet the requirements of state law that restricts construction of hard structures on the beach.

Judge Ralph K. Anderson III, chief judge of the court, said in a ruling last week that the permit complies with the law because that portion of the DeBordieu beach has a high erosion rate that threatens existing structures and won’t have an impact on adjacent beach. If there is an impact, he said, the money will be available for mitigation.

Read more.