International Drive Clears One Hurdle

By Paul Gable

The International Drive project jumped one hurdle yesterday when a SCDHEC committee rejected another review requested by two environmental groups.

The committee voted 3-0 to reject a request for review of the project by the Coastal Conservation League and SC Wildlife Federation who put in a last minute appeal July 10, 2015 to stop SCDHEC and the US Army of Corps of Engineers from issuing permits that would have allowed construction to go forward.

It is expected an appeal will be filed with the Administrative Law Court within the 30 day required period.

The two environmental groups objected to the elimination of three bear tunnels that had been included in the project at one point and to a four lane instead of a two lane roadway.

At the time, we called this ecoterrorism in the form of delaying the project for as long as possible, a move that has been going on since 2007 in one form or another.

According to sources familiar with the committee deliberations, one SCDHEC board member asked if Horry County and the environmental groups would agree to a compromise of one bear tunnel instead of the three the environmentalists were requesting in an effort to avoid more legal proceedings. Evidently nothing was mentioned regarding two v. four lanes.

An attorney for the environmentalists reportedly called the compromise plan interesting and worth exploring.

But wait!

Either your request for review addresses real problems or it doesn’t. Either you need three bear tunnels or you don’t need any.

If you don’t need three bear tunnels, why did you file the delaying request in the first place? Aren’t the bears the environmentalists are supposedly so worried about just as compromised by the lack of two bear tunnels as three?

And, all of this worry in an area where permits to shoot up to 45 bears were allowed last year.

Again we call the requests by the environmentalists ecoterrorism in the form of delay, delay, delay.

Maybe, if Horry County had offered money to ACRET, like the SC Department of Commerce did to move the Boeing plant construction along, International Drive would already be complete.



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