Save The Automatic Stay

There are two bills making their way through the South Carolina State House right now that would eliminate the automatic stay, a critical tool for protecting our environment, our communities and individual property.

The automatic stay is essentially a pause that is put in place while a government action, like a permit issued by DHEC, is reviewed by the courts. This pause is necessary to prevent irreparable harm from being done. Put simply, you can't just un-fill a wetland, un-blast a quarry, or un-dump toxic waste... the stay allows the legal process to play out so citizens aren't stuck with the consequences of bad government decisions.

Don't let polluters and a handful of short-sighted legislators make it harder for citizens to protect their communities and challenge bad government decisions.

The bills being pushed right now are S.105 and H.3565. The Senate bill will be debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (2/21) and the House bill will likely come up for a floor vote this week too.

CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE NOW AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE S.105 & H.3565 AND SAVE THE AUTOMATIC STAY!

How to contact your legislators...

You can find you State Legislators and their contact information here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php

Phone calls are especially effective so call the number(s) listed on your legislator's profile and leave a message.

Some lawmakers are also active on social media so post on their Facebook pages or tweet at them.  

Send an email about the automatic stay to your legislators through this online form.

Send a message to the entire Senate Judiciary Committee using this online form.

Here are some possible talking points you may want to mention:

  • The system we have now works... of the tens of thousands of permits issued by the state only a handful have ever had an automatic stay used, a permit requestor can ask a judge to lift a stay, and frivolous appeals can be punished.
  • S.105 and H.3565 may require that those challenging a permit post a bond "for the cost and expense of the litigation and project delay," making it financially impossible for most citizens to challenge any decision.
  • While these bills take the automatic stay away from citizens they still allow polluters to use they stay when they challenge permit revocations and enforcement actions... so polluters get a free pass, but citizens lose their rights.

You can read more about the importance of protecting the automatic stay in these recent opinion and editorial pieces:

The State Newspaper - Alex Sanders: Automatic stay protects public when government doesn’t

The Island Packet - Stop this ham-fisted move to harm environment
 

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