South Carolina's Flagship University

Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

I want to oppose a permit application. How do I do this?

The simplest way to oppose a permit is to file written comments during the comment period.

If 20 or more people in the county where the proposed project will take place request a hearing within a certain time after the newspaper notice of the permit application OCRM must hold a public hearing where you can again voice your opposition to the permit. Each request must be made separately and in writing. The time limit is 15 days for minor projects, 30 days for major projects.

If you are an adjoining owner of critical area and believe you own the land the permit is for you must file a written comment based on ownership with OCRM within the comment period (15 days for a minor project, 30 for major). The comment must indicate your intention to file a court action to have the courts decide who owns the property. You must provide OCRM with written proof that you filed the action within 30 days of the comment period expiring.

If the permit is approved and you are still not satisfied with any action OCRM to alleviate your concerns you may appeal the issuance of the permit. The first series of appeals must be taken through the agency process for appeals before the courts can become involved. You should seek further advice, preferably legal, before proceeding. Agency appeals have rules just like the legal system and you'll need to know them.

To get started, you will need to file a written request for a hearing with OCRM within 15 days of OCRM's action on the permit. The request needs to include your name, why you are challenging the permit decision, sufficient information to identify the permit you are challenging, and what you want OCRM to do about it.

After you have appealed to the agency, all the way through their process you may file a court action and ask the court to reverse the agency's decision to issue the permit. You have exactly 30 days from the final agency appeal decision to file an action. If you get this far in the process and have not already you should seek legal advice.

Sources of Information for this page:

  1. South Carolina DHEC Regulations (S.C. Code Regs.) 30-2(I), 30-3, 30-6(A), 30-7
  2. South Carolina Code of Regulations 61-101(G)

Last Updated October 29, 2010


This project was supported through a generous grant from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. The principal investigator is Professor Kim Diana Connolly at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Two law students, Keith Bartlett and Valerie Cochran, provided invaluable work toward project completion. Technical assistance with web design was provided by USC School of Law webmaster Tobias Brasier. Broken links should be reported to lawweb@law.sc.edu. This website is NOT intended as legal advice, and particularized analysis by professionals should be sought wherever appropriate.