From serious sports injuries causing tissue damage to bone issues and stiffness that comes with age, living with pain is, well, a pain. But it's more than that - it's a stressful, often upsetting way to get through your day, month, and year. Have you ever tried to get out of bed with sore, stiff knees? Most folks would rather just get back in bed. Think you might try exercising with plantar fasciitis? Don't plan on running far or doing cardio for very long. Torn rotator cuff? Without proper treatment, your life might not ever be the same.
Living with pain and the inevitable issues that come with age can seriously affect your wellbeing and happiness. Sure, you could wake up every morning and rely on addicting medications to help you move. Or, you could risk further injury and damage with invasive surgeries that require long periods of recovery and downtime. But those can't be the only two options for treatment, can they?
Fortunately, a new, natural, non-invasive treatment for pain is revolutionizing the medical industry and transforming people's lives. It's giving athletes, average folks, and people of a certain age a reason to be hopeful. It's called Softwave therapy, and unlike many fly-by-night medications and sketchy treatments, it's backed by science and provided by Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine.
If you're barely making it through the day suffering from chronic pain, this FDA-approved drug-free treatment may be for you. Softwave therapy has already been used by thousands of people around the country living with issues like shoulder pain, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis. You could be next.
Though its popularity has only grown in recent years, Softwave therapy - also known as shockwave therapy - has been around for years. In fact, the first systematic study into the benefits of shockwave therapy took place way back in 1950. So, what is Softwave therapy?
Softwave therapy is a method of treatment that works incredibly well for mobility rehab, pain relief, and full-body recovery, usually from chronic pain or injuries. Softwave therapy uses a device emitting low-energy soundwaves that target a patient's injured area. These low-intensity waves boost blood flow and kickstart your body's natural healing processes, relieving long-term pain and helping your body to heal a wide range of injuries and conditions.
The main targets in the body include bones, tendons, and other soft tissues, which are encouraged to regenerate and repair via the shockwaves. Often, shockwave therapy is used in conjunction with other non-invasive treatments like chiropractic care, which we offer at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine. The results are often incredible, leaving patients wondering why they never tried Softwave therapy before.
Softwave therapy works especially well for:
Better Blood Flow
Kickstarting cell growth and healing factors
Breaking down build-ups of calcium
With FDA clearance, little-to-no side effects, and quick application time, Softwave therapy is a welcome alternative for people suffering from pain. Who wants to spend weeks or months recovering from a surgery that might not even work? Likewise, who would want to become dependent on over-the-counter or, even worse, prescription pain meds? Living a life of addiction is a road nobody wants to go down.
Softwave therapy represents a revolution in non-invasive pain treatment; best of all, it's highly effective. Independent studies prove that shockwave therapy helps with pain. 65-91% of patients using shockwave therapy experienced real-deal improvements in damaged muscle and bone tissue, solving their mobility problems and drastically reducing pain. It almost sounds too good to be true, but as many patients at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine will tell you - it isn't.Book Appointment
Some of the most common conditions that Softwave therapy treats include:
When you get up in the morning and go to the bathroom to brush your teeth, do you notice a stabbing, sharp pain near your heel? Does the pain go away once you have a chance to walk around? If so, you could have plantar fasciitis. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, this painful condition is quite common. About two million people suffer from plantar fasciitis every year, and almost 10% of all people will experience the condition at least once in their life.
This common foot issue happens when the plantar fascia - a fan-shaped tissue near your heel - gets inflamed. The plantar fascia is a thick strip of connective tissue that links your toes to your heel bone, helping to preserve the arch of your foot. When this band is strained, it causes intensely sharp pain, usually in the morning when you wake up and plant your feet on the floor.
Most folks ignore plantar fasciitis because the pain eventually goes away throughout the day. However, if left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to weakness and chronic pain, which may affect daily walking.
Some causes of plantar fasciitis include:
The short answer to this question is not really. Patients with plantar fasciitis will ice the affected area with little-to-no relief since they spend so much time on their feet. It's hard to rest an achy heel if you've got a job that requires you to be on your feet. Anti-inflammatory meds like Advil don't work all that well, either. They may provide temporary pain relief, but in terms of a long-term solution, taking these drugs will cause major side effects.Book Appointment
When more conservative treatment options like ice and over-the-counter meds don't work, most doctors turn to ultra-expensive orthotics, steroid injections, or invasive surgery. For the average person, those options fail on all fronts, as they carry risks for side effects and may even cause the issue to worsen.
Instead of going under the knife or changing their daily routines, many people suffering from plantar fasciitis are turning to Softwave therapy for relief.
During a shockwave therapy session, our expert providers use a special probe to deliver pressure waves to inflamed tissue. These waves trigger natural healing processes causing new blood vessels to form. In turn, oxygen is supplied to the affected area, reducing inflammation and causing healthy cells to regenerate. Shockwave therapy also produces collagen, which is crucial for connective tissue health.
With just a few visits, many patients find long-term relief from plantar fasciitis without relying on strange drugs or harmful surgeries.
Living with knee pain is just miserable. From knee tendonitis to osteoarthritis, knee pain can prevent you from enjoying activities and affect your day-to-day life. Your knee is a joint comprised of cartilage, bone, ligaments, and fluids. Tendons and muscles within the knee help the joint move. When one of these crucial knee structures is hurt or compromised, it results in knee pain and long-lasting knee problems. This, in turn, leads to difficulty walking at best and debilitating knee issues at worse.
If you're an active person or somebody who plays sports often, you're probably all too familiar with knee pain - especially common conditions like patellar tendinopathy. Also called "jumpers knee," this issue happens at the patellar tendon, which is found on the front of the knee just under the knee cap. When living with this condition, most patients experience pain around the kneecap or lower down on the leg around the tibia.
In addition to injuries and issues like jumper's knee, everyday wear and tear will cause knee pain over time. With time, this knee pain can develop into arthritis. If your knees are swollen, painful, or stiff, you may have arthritis in your knees. Regardless of the kind of knee pain you're experiencing, treatment options have been limited to agonizing surgeries and addicting pain medications. But that all changes with shockwave therapy for knee pain in Awendaw, SC.
Though no two knee pain problems are exactly the same, shockwave therapy has been shown to be highly effective for knee pain. In fact, many patients at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine find relief after just one session. Many times, sessions can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. So if you want to find relief for knee pain on your lunch break, that's definitely possible.
As is the case with plantar fasciitis, Softwave therapy works by sending sound wave and low-energy impulses to the affected area of your knee. These pulses stimulate your body's healing factors, which can help regenerate and repair damaged tendons and tissues. Softwave therapy for knee pain is especially promising for people who have tried other treatments - like surgery and pain meds - with disappointing results.
Several studies and reviews prove that Softwave therapy can be very beneficial for people suffering from knee pain problems like jumper's knee. A study involving 66 patients with knee pain found that they enjoyed a significant improvement in their reported pain levels with Softwave therapy. In fact, knee pain was reduced by nearly 50% after a single month. When combined with other regenerative and physical therapy treatments at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine, your days of living with knee pain are numbered.Book Appointment
Here's a fact for you to consider: Every joint that you have in your body plays a part in your day-to-day life. But when we think of joint issues, we typically jump to knee issues. However, your knees aren't the only joints in your body to go through wear and tear. Your shoulders experience just as much, if not more, wear and tear than your knees. We put a strain on our shoulders just about every time we use or move our arms. Our shoulders play a pivotal part in living a normal life. When they begin to deteriorate over time due to age or overuse, it creates a litany of painful problems.
There are many causes of shoulder pain, like deterioration, inflammation, and trauma. Of the many painful shoulder conditions affecting Americans yearly, rotator cuff tendonitis and arthritis are very common. Also called calcific tendinitis, rotator cuff pain is caused by built-up calcium deposits on the shoulder's tendons, which connect your rotator cuff to nearby muscles and bones. This painful condition is usually linked to sports, like basketball and volleyball, or in professions requiring repetitive movements, like in the plumbing industry.
Some common symptoms of shoulder pain and rotator cuff tendinitis include:
Though strengthening exercises and some medications provide temporary relief for shoulder pain, they're not meant as long-term solutions. Luckily, Softwave therapy for rotator cuff pain in Awendaw, SC, can help.
Shockwave therapy has been shown to work wonders for shoulder pain. Low-intensity shockwaves break up calcium deposits and jumpstart your body's healing processes, stimulating blood flow and healthy cell growth. Shockwave treatment is especially effective for long-term shoulder pain since it releases stem cells, sends growth factors to the affected area, and boosts capillary production. Shockwave therapy has also been shown to break down scar tissue and eliminate trigger points, all of which decrease shoulder pain. This relief is most often long-lasting, unlike other treatments like medications and injections.
Many studies support the efficacy of Softwave therapy for shoulder conditions like rotator cuff pain and calcific tendonitis of the shoulder. In a study of 84 patients living with long-term rotator cuff tendonitis, participants in the treatment group saw a significant decrease in the intensity of their shoulder pain. Another study related to shockwave therapy for calcific tendonitis found that 86.6% of patients experienced fewer calcifications.
If you're having to live with rotator cuff pain or another type of shoulder issue, choosing Softwave therapy may be your best course of action.Book Appointment
Whether you're sick of living with intense heel pain from plantar fasciitis, the mobility issues associated with knee pain, or the day-to-day struggles of rotator cuff degeneration, you'll find hope at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine. Unlike some medical clinics, our team of doctors and specialists focus on an integrative, multidisciplinary approach to healing. Instead of relying on addictive medications and invasive surgeries, we prefer to address the underlying causes that our patients face.
We combine several all-natural pain relief therapies so that your shoulder pain, knee pain, joint pain, and foot pain go away for good. We resolve pain by using healing treatments that restore function and improve mobility for the long term. Our state-of-the-art regenerative medicine treatments, used hand-in-hand with proven chiropractic techniques, will stimulate your body's healing power from within. If your pain is related to muscles, nerves, and bones, our doctors can help you overcome discomfort, injury, or medical conditions affecting these systems.
If you've been unable to resolve your pain or have become dependent on painkillers to cope, Softwave therapy may be the natural solution you need. It all starts with a quick call to our office, so we can begin to understand your needs. When you come for your first visit, our doctors will find the personalized treatment you need so that you can manage your pain in a non-invasive and drug-free environment manner.Book Appointment
A potential new middle and high school in Awendaw has a chance to be a partial magnet school, and students from multiple parts of the district can be pulled toAWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - A potential new middle and high school in Awendaw has a chance to be a partial magnet school, and students from multiple parts of the district can be pulled to take part in a specialized curriculum.Charleston County School District Board Members and the people of Mount Pleasant got to hear new details about the potential schools on Wednesday. Distri...
A potential new middle and high school in Awendaw has a chance to be a partial magnet school, and students from multiple parts of the district can be pulled to
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - A potential new middle and high school in Awendaw has a chance to be a partial magnet school, and students from multiple parts of the district can be pulled to take part in a specialized curriculum.
Charleston County School District Board Members and the people of Mount Pleasant got to hear new details about the potential schools on Wednesday. District officials told people at the meeting, held at Laing Middle School, that a lot of the plans right now are just ideas with no specific timeline.
This new middle and high school would be located on 107 acres at Highway 17 and Jenkins Hill Road. As part of this plan, district staff presented concept maps with multiple options for rezoning.
Jeff Borowy, the Chief Operating Officer for the district, says this plan will be a challenge.
“Most of the times we build a school, we just build a specific zone of attendance for that school, but in this case, we want to have a number of students to offer the right programs for those students,” Borowy said. “So, we have to look out of the box and look for something different beyond the zone.”
District staff says one of the main challenges is making sure that each school holds a maximum of 500 students. This would pull in kids from D1, the Awendaw-McClellanville area, and some from D2 in the northern Mount Pleasant area.
Staff also say they are continuing to research desirable education options for a partial magnet school to reach that target enrollment.
“It’s going to be very important to let’s build the school from up, but at the same time, let’s figure out what we’re going to be doing inside,” Thomas Colleton, D1 Constituent Board Chair, said. “The curriculum needs a lot.”
There is currently no timeline on construction for the schools because the district does not know if this magnet option will be included. The district says it is possible that the earliest we can start to see construction would be in four years.
Jonathan Mars, a parent of two children at Carolina Park Elementary, says this could be an option for his family when his kids get older.
“But it does sound like they’re going to have very specific programs at the school,” Mars said. “So, for example, if there’s a great art program and my daughter’s really into art that seems like a great option to have.”
As of now, this project is not fully funded and the district says they do not have a price estimate.
They say the next step is to charter a blue-ribbon committee in mid-October that will look at enrollment numbers and look at the best options to make this project successful.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
AWENDAW — Elliott Summey, head of South Carolina’s largest airport, used the town of Awendaw’s natural resources for personal gain during his private company’s work on an unfinished park here, a new lawsuit by the town alleges.The lawsuit echoes the findings in ...
AWENDAW — Elliott Summey, head of South Carolina’s largest airport, used the town of Awendaw’s natural resources for personal gain during his private company’s work on an unfinished park here, a new lawsuit by the town alleges.
The lawsuit echoes the findings in “Sand Man,” a report last year by The Post and Courier-led Uncovered investigative reporting collaboration.
That report revealed how Summey’s company, Jackson Development, mined millions of dollars in sand and dirt from the park site, then left Awendaw in the dark about how much money he made and how much money taxpayers should have received in royalties.
Filed June 10, the town’s 16-page complaint went a few steps further.
Among its allegations:
Summey, a former Charleston County Council chairman and son of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, said his attorney has been trying to resolve disputes through arbitration and mediation.
“Now that the town has filed a lawsuit, this will allow all the facts to be presented in a fair, transparent and public manner,” he said. Summey declined to discuss specific allegations raised by the lawsuit.
Awendaw Town Attorney Toya Hampton acknowledged that “passions are running high” about the park. “The Town is standing up for its rights under the agreement through the lawsuit.”
The lawsuit didn’t specify an amount it’s seeking.
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in the controversial project.
In 2009, Charleston County Council voted to use Greenbelt money to buy 290 acres off Doar Road. On council then, Summey was a deciding vote. Three years later, Summey created Jackson Development — and scored a deal to mine the land’s sand.
The deal called for Jackson Development to spend $500,000 to help Awendaw build a park. Once it hit that $500,000 mark, Summey’s company was supposed to pay Awendaw an additional 50 cents for every cubic yard excavated from the site — and more if the price of dirt rose, which it did significantly over the coming years.
The town hoped to use these royalties to finish the park.
But Summey’s company turned over far less royalty money than the town expected, about $150,000.
And while the site has a large lake from the sand mining operation, the park itself remains unfinished. The town recently unveiled a new plan featuring disc golf, an amphitheater and space for overnight camping. But it remains unclear how the town will pay for this work.
With the park project in limbo, Summey and the town have been battling over the royalties.
According to the town’s agreement with Jackson Development, Summey’s company was supposed to hand over detailed receipts, canceled checks, invoices and other documentation about his mining progress.
But Summey and his contractor, Robert Collins Co., failed to do so, the lawsuit alleged.
Amid this vacuum of documentation, Awendaw Town Council in October 2020 hired the Greenville-based Wyche firm to challenge Summey.
Summey, meanwhile, left his County Council post for a job as chief executive officer of Charleston International Airport, earning more than $318,000 in salary and perks.
The lawsuit raises new questions about Summey’s mix of public and private ventures.
Summey has created about 20 private corporations, according to state and court records. Most appear to involve real estate ventures, with the notable exception of Jackson Development.
The lawsuit alleged that Jackson Development was a “corporate fiction ... used by Summey as a means of evading legal obligations,” and that Summey should be personally liable.
The lawsuit also discussed a large berm Summey and his company built on the site.
Running parallel to Doar Road, the berm was supposed to protect a nearby neighborhood from dust and noise. A permit from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control required that the berm be made from topsoil from the park site.
But according to the lawsuit, Summey and his company violated the permit by packing the berm with concrete, asphalt, rebar, items of clothing and other trash, earning at least $100,000.
Doing this violated DHEC permit requirements and will force the town to spend at least $150,000 to fix new drainage problems created by the berm, the lawsuit alleged.
According to a DHEC inspection report in 2020, Summey’s company was supposed to remove the berm.
The lawsuit also claimed that Summey and his company sold timber from the Awendaw tract without paying the town.
It concluded by alleging Summey misused and converted the town’s resources “for personal gain to fund Defendants’ own businesses at the expense of the Town and its residents and taxpayers.”
The Awendaw project’s problems have had a ripple effect beyond Elliott Summey.
A North Charleston city employee, DeLisa Reynolds, alleges that Mayor Keith Summey retaliated against her after one of her family members posted a negative comment on Instagram about Elliott Summey’s work in Awendaw. She has filed formal complaints with the city of North Charleston and the S.C. Human Rights Commission.
Thirteen years have passed since Charleston County voted to buy the Doar Road property with public Greenbelt money. But the park site remains empty, save for a few dirt roads, a power pole, a water well and a large berm overlooking a lake.
Beyond what happened and didn’t happen in Awendaw, the project highlights a weakness in the state ethics laws.
In The Post and Courier’s October report, Summey said he was told by the State Ethics Commission that he didn’t have to report the money he made in Awendaw, prompting a government watchdog to say that it was “appalling that millions of dollars are not really accounted for.”
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCBD) -A proposed development, the White Tract Development, in Awendaw has some neighbors calling for a time-out.Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is seeking the Town of Awendaw’s approval to build a 200+ home subdivision on approximately 148 acres. The planned location is just down the street from the intersection of Seewee and Bulls Island Roads.Some neighbors say they’re worried a large subdivision could cause future problems for the area.“If you go down Bull...
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCBD) -A proposed development, the White Tract Development, in Awendaw has some neighbors calling for a time-out.
Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is seeking the Town of Awendaw’s approval to build a 200+ home subdivision on approximately 148 acres. The planned location is just down the street from the intersection of Seewee and Bulls Island Roads.
Some neighbors say they’re worried a large subdivision could cause future problems for the area.
“If you go down Bulls Island Road right now, it’s very peaceful and tranquil…a pretty little country scene.,” said Greg St. Pierre, an Awendaw resident. “They’re gonna exploit every bit of that.”
St. Pierre and his neighbors understand growth is inevitable, but they’re hopeful Awendaw leaders will do it in what they call “the right way.” St. Pierre says there should be proactive plans for stormwater drainage, traffic mitigation, improved roadways, and more before the neighborhood is built. Additionally, the proposed spot is close to a National Wildlife Refuge and neighbors say it could be harmful to the species that thrive there.
On top of that, he says residents weren’t informed about the possible development until very recently and are now being asked to voice their opinions in a public hearing next week.
“Basically, the people are just asking for a little bit more time to understand what’s happening here.”
“You can’t stop people from selling their land, you can’t stop development from happening. It’s gonna happen, but do the right thing and don’t cram a bunch of cookie-cutter houses on postage-stamp-sized lots,” said St. Pierre.
Another concern by St. Pierre is the town’s lack of a full-time planning director. Currently, the town only has a part-time interim planning director in-house four hours per week.
News 2 contacted the Town of Awendaw with some of the questions posed by St. Pierre. The questions and answers are below.
Q: Are you aware of the concerns of Awendaw residents about the potential White Tract development? If so, what is your response?
A: The Town is aware of the concerns about the White Tract development. The White Tract Development is being developed under the auspices of a Planned Development adopted by Town Council in 2006. The approval of that Planned Development document also raised many of the concerns the Town is hearing today. A Planned Development is utilized in order to allow the Town to allow flexibility in development that will result in improved design, character, and quality of new developments and preserve natural and scenic features of open spaces. The Town of Awendaw provides for the establishment of planned development districts as amendments to a locally adopted zoning ordinance and official zoning map. The adopted Planned Development map is the zoning district map for the property. The planned development provisions must encourage innovative site planning within planned development districts. Planned development districts may provide for variations from other ordinances and the regulations of other established zoning districts concerning use, setbacks, lot size, density, bulk, and other requirements to accommodate flexibility in the arrangement of uses for the general purpose of promoting and protecting the public health, safety, and general welfare.
Q: We are hearing concerns about infrastructure surrounding the area (roads, water drainage, etc.) should a subdivision be built in the listed area. Does the town have proactive plans to address possible future problems (deteriorating roads, a lack of turning lanes leading to traffic safety concerns, water drainage) as a result of a large neighborhood?
In collaboration with the County of Charleston, the Army Corps of Engineers, DHEC and other jurisdictions, the Town is assured that roadways, stormwater drainage and traffic concerns are addressed. The Town may request additional plans and specifications of the developer of the land should they feel that something might need to mitigated in an appropriate fashion. The applicant has submitted plans to subdivide the three parcels of approximate 148 acres in to 204 parcels.
Q: I understand the Town of Awendaw only has a part-time (4 hours per week) Planning Director. Can the town handle a development of this size?
A: This is correct. The BCDCOG is contracting with the Town to provide an experienced Planning Director on an Interim basis. The Director is on-site at Town Hall for 4 hours per week, however, the Director spends upwards of 10-16 hours per week on Awendaw business. The past Town Administrator, Bill Wallace, is also actively working part-time for the Town and has over 4 decades of urban planning experience. Between the two individuals, the Town feels we have more than adequate experience to handle this project.
“If we can’t stop the neighborhood, we’re going to try to push for more green spaces, road improvements, anything that’s gonna help in the community,” said St. Pierre.
A public hearing is set for March 21st at 6 p.m. at Awendaw Town Hall for residents to share their opinions on the proposed development. St. Pierre says many people plan to come out and voice their concerns in hopes that the application for development will be denied.
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AWENDAW, S.C. (WCBD) – A small victory for many Awendaw residents after the town planning commission decided to postpone the vote on a controversial neighborhood proposal.Nearly 100 people packed into Town Hall for a public hearing Monday night. Many made their voices heard leading to eruptions of applause, laughter, and even booing.The packed public hearing stems from many Awendaw residents having concerns about the proposed White Tract Development.It’s slated to go between the intersection of Bulls Island a...
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCBD) – A small victory for many Awendaw residents after the town planning commission decided to postpone the vote on a controversial neighborhood proposal.
Nearly 100 people packed into Town Hall for a public hearing Monday night. Many made their voices heard leading to eruptions of applause, laughter, and even booing.
The packed public hearing stems from many Awendaw residents having concerns about the proposed White Tract Development.
It’s slated to go between the intersection of Bulls Island and Seewee Roads and Garris Landing on Bulls Island Road. Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is the applicant.
More than 200 homes would be built on approximately 148 acres.
Many Awendaw residents say there’s a list of problems including heavily increased and potentially dangerous traffic on two-lane roads, water drainage issues, and a harmful impact to Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge which is nearby.
It’s described by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a rich mosaic of barrier islands with forest and ponds, vast salt marshes and intricate waterways. FWS says this diverse and dynamic system supports over 293 bird species and a myriad of other wildlife.
Additionally, it is a nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles and a fresh source for shrimp and oysters.
Susan Cox and other neighbors say building 200+ septic tanks on 148 acres so close to the refuge would be detrimental.
“We are not against development, we are against poorly planned development. And the density that is proposed for these housing developments here is more than the soil is likely to be able to handle. And it’s too close to the waterways to make any sense at all,” said Cox.
Awendaw does not have a sewer system, so all new development is built on septic tanks. Cox says while her neighborhood is also built on septic tanks, the homes are fewer and further between than the proposed development.
“We have 65 homes on 300 or 400 acres of land,” she said. “It’s our goal to make the town of Awendaw and the Department of Health and Environmental Control in South Carolina understand that septic tanks of this density and in this area are a very bad idea.”
The Town of Mt. Pleasant has been working to decrease the number of septic tanks in town for years due to sewage leaks into waterways such as Shem Creek. James Island residents have also reported problems that Charleston Waterkeeper says are likely due to leaking septic tanks.
That’s one prong of the argument Awendaw residents are making.
Cox and many others in Awendaw say the refuge should be protected and development should be done properly.
Now, the planning commission and town residents will have until the next planning commission meeting to gather information, make proposed alterations of the current proposal to the developer, and attempt to find a plan that pleases a majority of people.
This is a developing story. Count On 2 for updates on air and online.
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - The coastal waterways are home to activities like fishing, shrimping and hold many of the Lowcountry’s famous oysters. However, a nonprofit environmental law firm and the people of Awendaw say these waterways could be in jeopardy.Charleston Waterkeeper and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, two environmental organizations of the Lowcountry, want the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to have more of an oversight of septic systems that are being installed by the en...
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - The coastal waterways are home to activities like fishing, shrimping and hold many of the Lowcountry’s famous oysters. However, a nonprofit environmental law firm and the people of Awendaw say these waterways could be in jeopardy.
Charleston Waterkeeper and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, two environmental organizations of the Lowcountry, want the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to have more of an oversight of septic systems that are being installed by the entire coastline. Because of this, they filed a complaint in November that is now moving its way through the circuit court.
“DHEC has, no one has, any idea how many septic systems exist in South Carolina because no one’s keeping track of it,” Emily Nellermoe, staff attorney at the South Carolina Environmental Law Firm and one of the lead attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said.
One of the many areas of concern is in the Town of Awendaw. Back in the spring, the town’s planning commission approved two large residential subdivisions, resulting in more than 400 septic tanks coming right next to the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
Susan Cox lives in Awendaw and says she is passionate about saving these waterways.
“The mission statement of the Town of Awendaw says they want to maintain the rural character of the town, but there is nothing about a dense housing development that says rural,” Cox said.
Cox says her and her neighbors believe this area was improperly rezoned years ago. She says these septic tanks are going to do irreversible harm to the wildlife.
Andrew Wunderley, director of Charleston Waterkeeper, says his organization tests the water quality of areas like these.
“There’s evidence that septic tanks, especially clustered at high densities, can discharge pollution by creeks and rivers,” Wunderley said. “So, it’s a huge concern... Any of those activities that make the Lowcountry lifestyle and living here in the Lowcountry so special are put at risk.”
Nellermoe says she doesn’t know why the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is not asking these important questions.
“What are the impacts of 200 septic systems on the watershed overall?” Nellermoe said. “What are the impacts to oyster beds and shellfish harvesting? They’re not asking any of those questions and they should be and that’s a problem.”
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says they do not comment on pending litigation. However, Nellermoe says she heard from them recently and they say they do not have to use their specialized agency to review these permits and they are not breaking any laws.
“This is the largest undeveloped piece of coastline on the East coast in the United States of America and once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Cox said. “You can’t get it back.”
The Town of Awendaw has not responded for a comment. Nellermoe says the timeline on this complaint depends on court scheduling, so there is not a set date of when further action will be taken.
The filed complaint for South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and Charleston Waterkeeper v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is below.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.