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    COASTAL OBSERVER: DHEC rejects Hewitt’s call to delay new lines

    By Charles Swenson
    Coastal Observer

    As the clock ticks down on the comment period for new lines that will expand state jurisdiction along portions of the Waccamaw Neck’s beachfront, state Rep. Lee Hewitt’s phone continues to ring.

    “DHEC’s been calling me every day,” he said.

    The Department of Health and Environmental Control announced revised jurisdictional lines on Oct. 6. The deadline for public comment is Nov. 6. A public hearing on the lines is scheduled for Wednesday in Myrtle Beach. By law, the new lines must take effect by Dec. 31. It’s all too fast, officials and property owners say.

    “My biggest problem is they’re doing this with no notice,” Hewitt said.

    He and state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, last week asked the leaders of the House and Senate to delay implementation of the lines until after the General Assembly reconvenes in January. “Speaker Lucas is with me on this,” Hewitt said, referring to Rep. Jay Lucas.

    …Hewitt said he was told Wednesday by DHEC officials that they won’t delay the process.

    …Hewitt plans to press the legislature and the governor’s office to delay implementation.

    …Hewitt would like the review process extended to a year. [Pawleys Island Mayor]
    Otis agreed that would be sufficient time for property owners to understand the process and get the data if they want to challenge the lines.

    Right now, Hewitt said, “people don’t even know enough to ask questions at the public hearings.”

    Click here for the full article.

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    GAB NEWS video: Rep. Hewitt presents Mayor Bill Otis with S.C. House resolution recognizing and honoring his service

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    GAB NEWS – “It has been 20 years since Pawleys Island Mayor Bill Otis was elected to that office.

    He has guided the island town through many changes during the two decades. But many say his biggest accomplishment has been keeping changes from actually happening. Keeping the town the nice, quiet, nearly non-commercial place it has always been.

    Now, Otis is retiring from the position. He will be replaced by Jimmy Braswell or Douglas Hooks, whichever wins the Nov. 7 election.

    On Monday evening, Otis — the town’s longest-serving mayor — was honored with plaques containing resolutions passed by the S.C. House of Representatives and Georgetown County Council in his honor.”

    Click here for the article.

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    Update from Rep. Hewitt

    A lot has happened since in the last month.

    One of the biggest state issues is the failed V.C. Summer nuclear reactor project involving SCANA and Santee-Cooper. In addition to supporting the protection of ratepayers in this spending disaster, I support the House leadership in asking for a S.C. Law Enforcement Division investigation of SCANA, of which SLED has agreed to undertake. Click here for the letter asking for the investigation.

    In April, before the reactor project was abandoned, my campaign received a contribution from a SCANA PAC. This week I returned the contribution. I think it’s the right thing to do. 

    On September 13th, the House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee met in Conway for our third public hearing about the opioid addiction epidemic. We heard compelling testimony from physicians, law enforcement officials and recovering addicts. We also heard heart-wrenching testimony from Lorraine Ryan and Noreen Beck, who lost sons to overdoses. We’ve got to find solutions for this epidemic as soon as possible.

    This month I was privileged to tour the International Paper mill in Georgetown with the county legislative delegation. It’s an impressive operation employing about 600 workers that’s economically very important to both the county and city. I learned a lot from the tour.

    Last week, as chairman of the Murrells Inlet July 4th Boat Parade, I was pleased to present the Belin Memorial United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop with a check for $21,500 from the proceeds of T-shirt sales from the 2017 boat parade. This makes nearly $300,000 the boat parade committee has raised for the Boy Scouts since the inception of the parade 34 years ago. The committee is proud to support Troop 396 and thank them for making a difference in our community.

    I’m privileged to serve in the House representing District 108. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

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    Rep. Hewitt's comments on the potential harm of offshore oil drilling to the coastal economy

    A video clip of Rep. Lee Hewitt’s comments about the potential devastating impacts of oil spills on the coastal economy at the House Offshore Drilling Ad Hoc Committee meeting on August 22nd.

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