South Carolina's Flagship University

Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

What can I do if my permit was denied?

If your permit was denied and you wish to challenge the denial you'll need to follow the following steps with great care. Deadlines are extremely important in this portion of the process and missing a deadline, even by a day, can ruin your chances to appeal successfully. As always, if you have further questions contact the appropriate federal (Army Corps of Engineers) or state agency (DHEC-OCRM).

If your permit was a Joint Application to both the Corps of Engineers and DHEC and the reason your permit was denied was the project was deemed inconsistent with the State Coastal Zone Management Program you'll need to do the following:

  1. Within 15 days after the notice of OCRM's decision is mailed to you (NOT 15 days from when you receive the notice) you must file a written request for final review with OCRM;
  2. Include the reason(s) you are challenging the decision and the specific changes you are requesting;
  3. This must be received by the Clerk of the Board within 15 days of the original notice being mailed to you. If the 15th day is a weekend or holiday the request must be received by the Clerk of the Board the next business day;
  4. Mail the request to: Clerk of the Board
    2600 Bull St
    Columbia, SC 29201
  5. Once the Clerk receives your request the Clerk will provide you with any additional information about the proper procedures;
  6. The DHEC Board has 60 days after receiving your request to conduct a final review conference. The conference can be conducted by the Board, a designee, or a 3-member committee of the Board. Committee members are chosen by the chair of the Board;
  7. If, after 60 days, the Board has not conducted the final review conference, OCRM's decision becomes final and you can request a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court within 30 days after the deadline for the conference.

If your permit is denied you must do the following if you wish to appeal the decision:

  1. You can obtain judicial review by the circuit court by filing a petition with the circuit court within 30 days of the agency decision or, if a rehearing is requested, within 30 days of that decision. You must serve copies of the petition on the agency and all parties of record. Preliminary, procedural or intermediate agency actions are immediately reviewable if reviewing the final agency action would not provide an adequate remedy.
  2. Filing for review does not stop enforcement of the current agency decision.

If you disagree with the final state determination you can appeal to the Secretary of Commerce to override the state's determination.

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.