- Our Work
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Upstate Forever advocates at the local, state, and federal levels to advance policies that protect our drinking water, as well as the places we love to fish, hunt, swim, and explore. While we look to collaborative solutions first, we also sometimes take legal action to ensure that bad actors are held accountable for causing damage to our waterways. Below are just a few of our recent advocacy efforts.
Upstate Forever is partnering with the Savannah Riverkeeper and the Southern Environmental Law Center to hold Kinder Morgan accountable for cleaning up the site of the 2014 spill of 364,000 gallons of diesel and jet fuel near Brown's Creek in Anderson County. Our Clean Water Act lawsuit win in the U.S. Fourth Circuit is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court (docket number 18-268).
Upstate Forever is working with Naturaland Trust, ReWa, and community advocates to identify and protect populations of the endangered Bunched Arrowhead plant. With our partners and local citizens, we opposed two subdivisions that would have been located just feet from the plant’s critical habitat. Currently, we are working with ReWa to implement a mitigation project that will improve the quality of the plant’s rare habitat, and efforts are underway to expand this area as a protected preserve.
Upstate Forever worked with the Southern Environmental Law Center to secure a voluntary agreement with Duke Energy in 2015 for the excavation of the Lee Steam Station coal ash ponds located along the Saluda River in Anderson County. Work is ongoing to move all coal ash to a new lined on-site landfill, but removal of ash from the ponds most at risk for flooding has been completed. We also helped with the effort to stop a proposed coal ash landfill in Pickens County.
Upstate Forever documented and reported significant construction violations at water crossings in Spartanburg County along the path of the 55-mile Dominion Transco to Charleston natural gas pipeline in 2018. These violations caused sedimentation significant enough to shut the intakes at a water utility on the South Tyger River. SCDHEC ultimately fined Dominion for these violations in 2019. Upstate Forever opposed the project from its inception.
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