Seven environmental groups filed a lawsuit in Federal Court Tuesday to stop seismic testing for oil off the Atlantic Coast. The tests are necessary to determine if there’s oil off the coast for which to drill. Attorney Catherine Wannamaker with the Southern Environmental Law Center said the testing would harm sea animals, some of them endangered.
More than 440 additional employees at an experimental nuclear fuel facility near Aiken have received their layoff notifications, bringing the total to more than 1,000 since federal officials moved to terminate the project.
Filings with state workforce officials show CB&I Project Services Group indicated it would issue layoff notices to 372 employees last week. Those employees will be gone by February 4. On Tuesday, an additional 70 employees at Orano Federal Services received their notifications.
It was the second round of layoffs since the Energy Department received approval from a judge to end construction on the Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) Fabrication Facility in Aiken County. The project had stalled as federal officials considered its ballooning price tag too expensive. More than 600 CB&I and Orano employees were told last month that they will be laid off in January.
MOX was originally planned to convert weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear reactor fuel.
The Aiken Standard reports the final wave of layoffs will occur in January.
Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging seismic testing for offshore drilling for oil. Renee Sexton explains.
A new study argues some college across South Carolina limit free-speech.
According to The State newspaper, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston and Furman University all had at least one free speech policy that received a red-light rating, according to a study from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
The foundation said that red-light ratings are the worst free-speech rating a school can receive and that many college’s red-light policies violate the constitution.
The results of the study just examine the colleges’ rules themselves, not how they are enforced. USC received a “red light” for the way its “Carolinian Creed” is written, using phrases such as “I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, and their need for conditions which support their work and development,” according to the creed and the study.
A spokesman for USC said in a statement that the Carolina Creed is a campus where free expression of various points of view is encouraged and nurtured. The statement went on to say it was “puzzling” that FIRE would find promotion of those values incompatible with the First Amendment.
Charleston area authorities are now saying an elderly man whose body was recovered in a house fire last week was murdered. 82-year-old Robert White died at the scene of the fire. The Coroner’s report says an autopsy shows white died of trauma to his body. No arrests have been made. White’s death is the 12th homicide in Charleston this year.
South Carolina authorities have identified a teenager killed after being struck by a vehicle. Jay Harper reports.
South Carolina state senators are looking to change how mental health patients are transported after two women drowned when a sheriff’s office van washed into floodwaters during Hurricane Florence earlier this year.
The Post and Courier reports four senators on a Senate subcommittee are considering increases to the training requirements for law enforcement officials who transport mentally ill patients.
They are also considering allowing family members to take individuals who are seeking treatment.
Monday’s meeting was the second one since Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton died after a Horry County sheriff’s van drove into flood waters on U.S. Highway 76 in Marion County. [Read more…]
Small businesses, farmers’ cooperatives and some nonprofits affected by Hurricane Michael in October may be eligible for low-interest loans from the federal government.
In a release last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration said Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available in 25 eligible counties in South Carolina to qualifying business and non-profit organizations.
The eligible counties are Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter.
The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills which could have been paid had the hurricane not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
The loans are available for eligible individuals who suffered financial losses as a direct result of the hurricane. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, the Small Business Association cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers since their losses are covered by a separate program.
South Carolina regulators plan to announce their decision on power utility SCE&G’s future Friday.
The state Public Service Commission will vote on whether Virginia-Based Dominion Energy can acquire the troubled SCE&G in the aftermath of an abandoned $9 billion nuclear construction project.
Observers expect the board to approve the sale and set SCE&G’s future electric rates. The utility reached a settlement with its ratepayers late last month. The agreement, which hinges on the commission approving the merger, offers $2 billion in future rate relief on power bills. It would also instead re-route towards customers $115 million in payouts for departing executives and an estimated $70 million from selling off surplus property.
Commissioners will set how much — if anything — customers should pay for debt from the failed project. Those same customers have already paid more than $2 billion through higher power bills since 2008.
Attorney General Alan Wilson and state House Speaker Jay Lucas have submitted briefs to the commission asking them to approve the deal. However, other groups such as the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce say they think Dominion and SCE&G need to offer more concessions first.
Clemson University students are partnering with industry leaders in an effort to create sustainable solutions for the lifecycle of vehicles. Sponsored by ExxonMobil, graduate automotive engineering students in the university’s flagship Deep Orange program will develop a next-generation sustainable concept vehicle.
Deep Orange 11 will is led by Srikanth Pilla, Jenkins Endowed Professor of Automotive Engineering at Clemson University and director of the Clemson Composites Center
Pilla told South Carolina Radio Network that it’s hands-on learning for the students. “The students will also do market analysis.”
Clemson said in a release that the Deep Orange is a flagship program of Clemson University’s two-year master’s program focused on systems integration in automotive engineering. The program provides students with experience in market analysis, target customer profiles, vehicle design, prototyping, and manufacturing while balancing costs and design targets in an aggressive timeline. The innovative vehicle prototype program encourages students to push the boundaries of conventional design and engineering.
“The concept car we are talking about right now is the eleventh edition of the program,” said Pilla.
The goal of the project is to develop an ultra-efficient, lightweight, highly durable mobility solution. The project emphasizes the integration of sustainability in the entire product lifecycle from manufacture and operation with circular economy considerations. Students will have a unique, hands-on experience working with ExxonMobil and skilled engineers throughout the design and development process.