South Carolina's Flagship University

Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

Regional Permits

These permits allow certain individual activities without you having to go through the typical Federal permitting process with the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

If you qualify for a regional permit you MUST obtain a written letter of authorization from OCRM BEFORE beginning any work and you MUST comply with all the letter's terms and conditions.

Some permit conditions and requirements are listed on this website under the applicable permit information page.

Permits are available for the following activities in a Tideland Critical Area of the Coastal Zone:

  1. "certain activities within Critical Area Impoundments managed as Stormwater Lagoons or ponds,"
  2. wildlife nesting platforms,
  3. directional boring for utilities,
  4. mariculture,
  5. soil borings,
  6. "additions to existing, grandfathered, or previously permitted private docks (both single and joint use) that don't conflict with OCRM guidelines (catwalks 3' to existing boatlifts, roofs on existing pierheads (as area precedent indicates), handrails, utilities, benches, storage boxes, sinks, and mooring piles)." This permit does NOT allow adding boatlifts, additions that increase the overall square footage, or adding floating jet docks (or similar structures at OCRM determination). ALL drawings for this permit must be computer generated.

Permits available for the Beach Dune System adjacent to the Atlantic are as follows:

  1. "installation or repair of underground and overhead water, sewer, gas, electrical, telephone and cable service lines,"
  2. drainage structures,
  3. landscaping or fill for landscaping,
  4. fences, lighting, trash receptacles, sidewalks and signs,
  5. non-attached decks,
  6. sand fences, minor beach renourishment, dune revegetation,
  7. construction or reconstruction of drives and parking lots,
  8. installation of shore perpendicular wingwalls at existing erosion control structures, and
  9. dune vegetation.

Some areas are not covered including

  1. "activities located within 150 feet of the edge of the authorized Federal channels of Charleston Harbor Navigation Project (including the authorized Federal navigation channels in Shipyard River, Wando River, Town Creek, and channels at the Naval Weapons Station).
  2. Also excluded are projects located within 125 feet of the edge of the authorized Federal channels of Georgetown Harbor, Little River Inlet, Port Royal Harbor, Waccamaw River and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW).
  3. Projects located in close proximity to areas either listed on the National Register of Historic Places or eligible for inclusion on the Register are also excluded."

You can obtain a copy of the General Permit Application here.

Contact the Corps or OCRM if you have questions about whether your project could qualify under this permit.


  1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program, Charleston District, Regional Permits, http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/permits/rgp-ocrm.html
  2. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, General Permit Application, http://www.scdhec.net/environment/ocrm/permit/docs/FORMS/GP0506.pdf

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.