SCELP in Greenville
SCELP in Greenville

Thank you for visiting our Greenville website and resources. We're proud to serve Greenville, where we opened our first satellite office in 2016, and recognize the unique challenges and opportunities for environmental protection and justice in this beautiful region of our state. From the mountains and crystal-clear lakes in the north to the rural character of the south, Greenville County's land, water and communities are worth protecting.

What We Do

We are Lawyers for the Wild Side, and our growing and dedicated staff works in the public's interest for environmental protection and justice across South Carolina.

You can read more about how we work here or find information about our 21+ current cases and the many other issues we've tackled during our 35-year history here. At the bottom of this page, you can learn more about the cases and issues most relevant to Greenville County.

How We Can Help

We provide both legal advice and formal representation in court, before administrative agencies and local government bodies.

Some examples of how we can help include:

  • Challenging the unlawful filling or destruction of wetlands.
  • Preventing, investigating or remedying the pollution of creeks, streams, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water.
  • Opposing unpermitted industrial pollution causing noxious odors, environmental damage or health issues for communities.
  • Fighting megadumps and toxic landfills from targeting low-income communities or communities of color.
  • Protecting rural communities whose quality of life is threatened by destructive land uses or unchecked suburban sprawl.
  • Submitting public comments to prevent or mitigate harm to land, water or communities.

If you or your community is aware or concerned about water pollution, water contamination, wetland destruction, wildlife and habitat conservation, landfill operations, waste management or any other environmental hazard threatening your land, water or community, we are here to help.

Please take a minute to fill out this form so that we can learn more about the problem. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: Provides a wide range of information for residents on public and environmental health, including waste reduction, air quality, asbestos, radon and much more. You can also directly report your environmental concern to DHEC.

Environmental Protection Agency: The EPA is a great resource for learning about environmental laws and regulations, and for residents to find information about the levels of industrial pollution in their communities. You can also find out more about climate change, environmental justice, pesticides, chemicals, environmental toxins and more.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

Learn More
Mike Martinez | Upstate Staff Attorney

"The Upstate, and Greenville specifically, is facing a tremendous amount of growth and development pressure, and SCELP's role in advocating for smart land use planning and regulations that protect our water quality is critical to preserving our already overburdened natural resources."

SCELP's Work in Greenville

LAND

Resisting rampant rural development

Perhaps more than anywhere else in the state, suburban sprawl into rural and agricultural lands is plaguing Greenville County, not just in terms of environmental health but also in terms of overall quality of life. We have been working with citizens groups in the southern and northern parts of the County, and have successfully defended these groups in court to overturn decisions made by the Greenville County Planning Commission.

After Greenville County voted to replace the county's only check on unabated sprawl, Article 3.1, SCELP was involved in advocating for the inclusion of several items in its replacement, Artlcle 22 - including the inclusion of open space in new rural developments and a 50-foot buffer requirement.

WATER

Protecting water from the threat of pollution

Water is integral to life, and SCELP works to protect important bodies of water in Greenville County from pollution. Most of our strategic objectives in this area are of immediate relevance in the County, whether to advance rules that give greater protection to water quality, such as pollution discharge permits, or to harness underutilized rules, such as Municipal Separate Stormwater System (MS4) permits and the growing number of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) approved to remedy an ever-expanding list of contaminated water bodies. And we must hold polluters accountable when existing rules and regulations are violated or patently ignored like Arabella Farm did when they filled pristine trout streams with tons of illegally discharged sediment.

SCELP has also been actively advocating for stricter drinking water standards. Access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water is a basic human right, indispensable to sustaining healthy livelihoods and maintaining people’s dignity. It is also an increasingly urgent environmental protection and justice issue in South Carolina.

COMMUNITIES

Advocating for environmental justice

With ups and downs and frustratingly slow progress, our work on the Bramlett site in the Southernside neighborhood since 2017 catalyzed a new phase in our work with vulnerable communities, leading to the priority of advancing environmental justice. Ever since our founding, we have strived to create and enforce environmental protections by offering our legal expertise to those in need, giving them an effective voice and legal muscle in processes when they would otherwise be financially foreclosed or procedurally marginalized.

We are committed to honoring our obligation to carry forward our motto “no case is too small” whenever a vulnerable or frontline community seeks assistance in our areas of expertise. To this end, we are ready to engage with new partners and serve more people to tackle old and new environmental hazards, especially when threatening historically underserved and overburdened communities.

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