September 2, 2022

Nathaniel Cary, The Post and Courier

Environmental groups sue a Pickens County wedding venue. SC argues they can’t.

A lawsuit filed by environmental groups against a Pickens County farm that acts as a wedding venue can proceed under the federal Clean Water Act, a panel on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

State regulators and the farm appealed the decision, claiming citizens can’t sue because the state already started enforcement against Arabella Farm for violations.

If the federal appeals court sides in favor of the wedding venue, it may limit the ability of citizens to bring lawsuits to force compliance with the Clean Water Act and to pay for damages caused by violators. But the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said in a filing in support of the venue that businesses and property owners shouldn’t face additional penalties if the state has already begun enforcement against a potential violator.

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