New briefs for August 17th-23rd

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County commission OKs traffic plan

In a unanimous vote on Aug. 7, the Beaufort County Planning Commission adopted the Lady’s Island Corridor Plan traffic study and ordered the proposal sent to Beaufort County Council for action, according to the Sea Island Coalition.

The unanimous vote (with one abstention) follows on the heels of adoption earlier by the Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Beaufort City Council, both by unanimous votes.

The study recommends nine significant actions to improve traffic connectivity on Lady’s Island, at an estimated cost of $28 million. The recommendations will likely take several years to implement, due both to funding issues and the fact that some require other development to take place in advance.

Chuck Newton, speaking for the Sea Island Coalition, noted that the recommendations were being made in the face of scarce financial resources. 

The study is expected next to be reviewed by the County Council’s Natural Resources Committee, and perhaps the Finance Committee. With adoption there, and more specifics about which projects are undertaken in what order and funding, County Council would then vote whether to adopt and incorporate it in its Capital Improvements Plan.

Legislative delegation to meet Aug. 22

The Beaufort County Legislative Delegation will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Bluffton Branch Library, 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton. A public comment period will precede the business portion of the agenda.  

Any agency requesting to make a presentation to the delegation should contact Cynthia Maxey, delegation liaison at 843-255-2260 or email cmaxey@bcgov.net. 

Mosquito spraying may take place through Aug. 18

Beaufort County Mosquito Control may conduct aerial training, surveillance, and/or spray missions that may include the application of EPA-registered public health insecticides during daylight hours through Friday, Aug. 18. For additional information, call 843-255-5800.

SC files $100M lawsuit against U.S.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit recently against the federal government to recover $100 million the U.S. Department of Energy owes the state for failing to meet its promise to remove 1 ton of plutonium from the Savannah River Site this year.

A case of such magnitude has never been filed by South Carolina against the federal government.

Congress mandated that the U.S. Department of Energy would pay South Carolina $1 million per day, beginning Jan. 1, for every day the department failed to remove from the state one metric ton of weapons-grade defense plutonium. The requirement is in place during the first 100 days of each year from 2016 through 2021.

The Department of Energy has failed to process or remove the plutonium or pay the state the $100 million owed for 2016 or 2017. This lawsuit seeks the recovery of the $100 million owed for 2017.

The state sought the 2016 payments in the pending case before the federal court in South Carolina, but federal Judge Michelle Childs ruled that the state should file the claim in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The state intends to pursue the 2016 money when that matter concludes.