Bluffton Gateway a win for environment

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 4, 2014 

In response to letters regarding stormwater runoff and the Bluffton Gateway project, writers should know that many projects in the county far exceed the 10 percent goal for impervious surfaces.

They are approved because they use sound engineering principles to reduce runoff. This project is no different. Using accepted engineering tools, this developer is reducing runoff to zero. That's right; not only are the developers managing the runoff created by their own buildings and parking lots, and the county road they will build through the property, they are better managing the existing runoff, taking a load off other properties.

This is a high bar, and sets a new standard for development in Beaufort County. Henceforth, we will encourage all developers to not only manage the stormwater runoff they create, but lighten the load on the remaining system.

Secondly, the 10 percent goal shown in the county ordinance doesn't appear in the Bluffton stormwater ordinance. If the developer applied through the town of Bluffton, as requested by its town manager, the letter writers' concern would never have seen the light of day.

And finally, if readers are truly concerned with the environment, they should be relieved that this developer has agreed to remediate a source of contamination on the site, and stop a plume of pollutants from further contaminating groundwater that, left unchecked, could eventually reach the Colleton River and the Port Royal Sound.

Anyone concerned about the environment would see this project as a win for the citizens of Beaufort County.

Brian Flewelling


Editor's note: Flewelling represents District 5 (Okatie/Burton/Shell Point) on Beaufort County Council and chairs its Natural Resources Committee.

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