South Carolina Legislature considers controversial ‘wing wall’ sea walls
The dispute comes down to whether a “wing wall” is a wing or a wall. Two bills in the S.C. Legislature — one in the House and one in the Senate — deal with restoring state permits for the devices, which beachfront owners claim are needed to protect their properties and conservationists fear would weaken the state’s ban against new sea walls.
A House subcommittee bill was moved to full committee Tuesday as legislators from both parties agreed to work out a compromise.
The devices are flanks of sea walls built like wings off an end to keep high surf from eroding behind the wall and undermining it. So if the neighbor living at the end of the wall doesn’t make repairs sooner or later their portion of the wall could give way, too.
“Right now you can’t rebuild your sea wall,” said state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Georgetown, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill. “If your neighbor doesn’t keep up his end, your wall is in danger, as well. What’s more American than being able to protect your property?”
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