Cease-and-desist order lifted at Awendaw park site

The driver of a bulldozer makes his way down a road that he is working on at the 291-acre park site in Awendaw.

AWENDAW — The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is allowing work to resume on a future park site here.

The agency rescinded its cease-and-desist order this week for dirt mining work on the Doar Road property.

On March 22, DHEC issued the order for Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey’s Jackson Development Group to stop mining work on the site because it was going on beyond a permitted 5-acre area. Work continued on the site for at least a portion of the time it was under the order.

Summey’s company in 2014 placed the low bid on a town contract that allows him to mine and sell dirt in exchange for creating a lake and developing trails, open grassy areas and unpaved parking lots and supplying potable water.

Jim Beasley, a spokesman for DHEC, said the department didn’t fine Summey, and no other penalties were issued.

“We continue to work with the operator to determine the best path forward,” Beasley said.

Summey said he was mining and selling dirt only from the permitted area, but work was being conducted on a new road, which nearby residents had requested, on another portion of the site. DHEC considered that work mining activity, he said.

Local residents have raised concerns about the noise and dirt from truck traffic on Doar Road and about the scope of the mining, which has risen from digging dirt for a 50-acre lake to digging dirt for a lake 80 acres or more in size.

Summey has applied to DHEC for a new mining permit that would include the property’s entire 291 acres.

Summey and town administrator Bill Wallace have said that they included the entire site in the permit application because that will allow them to mine in areas that have the most salable dirt.

On May 26, DHEC will hold a public hearing on that application, a standard practice whenever an application draws comments or letters from at least 10 people.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.