Deny Oakridge Application to expand landfill near Francis Beidler Forest!
Oakridge Landfill, Inc., has applied for a 401 Water Quality Certification which would enable a proposal to fill 14+ acres of freshwater wetlands near the Francis Beidler Forest on the northern border Four Holes Swamp in Dorchester County, South Carolina. Oakridge plans a class 3 Landfill to be composed of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition and industrial waste.
Francis Beidler Forest is a 16,500 acre forested wetland reserve and National Audubon Society wildlife sanctuary. Beidler Forest enjoys numerous natural area distinctions, including: Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, Society of American Foresters Natural Area, National Natural Landmark designated by the National Park Service. Four Holes Swamp is forty miles long and one and one half miles wide. For more than twenty of those miles it is permanently protected by land owned by Audubon and its conservation partners and conservation easements held by its partners.
Because of Four Holes Swamp’s largely intact condition, it is recognized by many as a reference watershed. It is a “model” of what a blackwater swamp is and should be. If this Certification is granted and the applicant is allowed to fill as planned, the net effect would be the destruction of 18 acres of forested wetland and the loss of essentially an entire complex of first and second order streams, from their sources to the larger stream into which they discharge. The collective impact would be to rip out another small piece from the comprehensive fabric of what is the Four Holes Swamp ecosystem, which would be a terrible and unnecessary loss.
Not granting this permit will save a rapidly disappearing resource (an entire seep complex and its first order streams) and limit possible long-term impacts from the landfill on Four Holes Swamp, the Edisto River and the ACE Basin downstream.
The Board of Directors of Friends of the Edisto has voted unanimously to oppose this plan. Please join FRED and sign this petition to ask the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to deny this permit, and help protect this amazing natural area which is the Francis Beidler Forest.
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