South Carolina's Flagship University

Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

Federal Departments and Independent Agency Explanations and Links

Multiple federal departments and independent agencies play various roles in implementing federal regulatory requirements for coastal areas. Below is a list (with brief explanations) of most of these federal agencies, and direct links to those agency homepages.
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the Department of the Interior (DOI)
    This Department controls and cares for many of the nation's public lands. There is no BLM office in South Carolina since much of the land the BLM is responsible for is located out west. However, in South Carolina mineral rights in Sumter National Forest and wild horse adoptions are overseen by BLM.

  • Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
    The Council is an office within the White House. It was created by the National Environmental Policy Act which it helps ensure is properly implemented. CEQ also coordinates environmental efforts between federal agencies. In addition to this coordinating role, CEQ also ensures agencies' environmental responsibilities are being met and can be called upon to mediate between federal agencies if an environmental issue is involved.

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    Created in 1970 to protect human health and the environment, EPA has the responsibility to set standards for numerous federal environmental programs. EPA is not a cabinet-level agency. EPA leads the nation in environmental science, research, education and assessment through the development and enforcement of regulations and offers financial assistance through programs such as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, research grants and graduate fellowships. EPA has offices nationwide to oversee the numerous federal environmental laws under its authority. South Carolina is in Region 4, which is headquartered in Atlanta.

  • Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of the Interior (DOI)
    MMS is responsible for managing the nation's natural gas, oil and other mineral resources. Among other duties, MMS leases government lands, including the Outer Continental Shelf, to the private sector for mining. South Carolina has a partnership with MMS for beach nourishment and coastal protection projects that may require the mining of sand deposits.

  • National Park Service (NPS) of the Department of the Interior (DOI)
    The National Park Service operates eight parks or historical sites in South Carolina. In addition to operating these sites the NPS also works to preserve those ecosystems through its Action Plan for Preserving Natural Resources.

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
    The Corps consists of both military and civilian engineers and scientists. Engineering services focus on disaster relief among other responsibilities. Flood control and environmental protection are provided by the Corps Civil Works Division. The Corps Regulatory Program is charged with protecting the U.S.'s aquatic resources while allowing reasonable development for virtually all construction activities occurring in the Nation's waters and any work in the Nation's navigable waters. The Corps District Office in Charleston ensures South Carolina complies with the Rivers and Harbors Act and the Clean Water Act. Permit applicants are encouraged to contact the Charleston District Project Manager of the Day for a consultation to help decide if a permit is necessary for a particular undertaking.
    • Project Manager of the Day
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District
      Attention: CESAC-RD, P.O. Box 919, Charleston, SC 29402
      Telephone: 843-329-8044
      Fax: 843-329-2332
      Website: www.sac.usace.army.mil

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior (DOI)
    The Fish and Wildlife Service conserves, protects and enhances the nation's fish, wildlife and plant resources, including habitat preservation. There are several FWS field offices in South Carolina. Eight National Wildlife Refuges are located in South Carolina, including the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. The National Wildlife Refuge System is also administered by FWS.

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.