U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham make closing remarks after a roundtable discussion near Orangeburg. | Post & Courier photo

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt met with businesspeople and politicians — including U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson — in Orangeburg on Monday, with conversation centering on rolling back federal wetland protections. Not invited to the meeting, according to The State? A host of South Carolina environmental groups, including Southern Environmental Law Center, American Rivers, the Coastal Conservation League, the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, the state Sierra Club, Audubon South Carolina, the S.C. Nature Conservancy, the S.C. Wildlife Federation, the Congaree Riverkeeper organization and Friends of the Edisto. “It sounds like nobody knew about it except the folks that want to rescind this clean water rule,’’ Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler said. — Chris Trainor

Work Begins on Saluda Riverwalk

On July 24, a contingent of Richland County and Columbia leaders shoveled the first bit of earth for a project that’s been decades in the works: the Saluda Riverwalk, the newest extension of the Three Rivers Greenway. Spanning from below Riverbanks Zoo up to where I-26 crosses the river, phase one of the Saluda Riverwalk will stretch three miles. The greenway will include a paved trail, boardwalks and a number of small bridges. Picnic tables, benches and lighting are also planned as well as space to park on Candi Lane near the zoo. The Riverwalk will also connect with the Saluda Canal, an abandoned 1800s waterway for boats, and Millrace Rapid, a popular spot for kayakers that runs through remnants of a dam dynamited during the Civil War. When it’s finished, people will be able to walk from near Gervais Street in downtown Columbia to the zoo and out to a landing area close to Lexington Medical Center.

David Travis Bland

FBI Also Looking Into Alleged State House Corruption 

It appears the FBI is now also involved in a long-running corruption probe at the South Carolina State House. State officials, including special prosecutor David Pascoe, have long been investigating members of the Legislature, with several already having been indicted. Now, two former State Ports Authority officials —Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton and Pat McKinney — have told The Post and Courier that they were interviewed by the FBI about the Ports Authority’s dealings with political operatives, including embattled consultant Richard Quinn and his son, state Rep.Rick Quinn. The younger Quinn already has been indicted by a state grand jury. Templeton briefly worked for the Ports Authority in 2015, but says she was fired after five weeks on the job because she was “asking the right questions about the wrong people,” including Richard Quinn. — Chris Trainor

Juvenile Justice Considers Regional Housing for Youthful Offenders 

The state Department of Juvenile Justice is considering establishing facilities across the state to house youthful inmates long-term, rather than only holding them all in Columbia. According to The Post and Courier’s Maya Prabhu, DJJ officials have told Gov. Henry McMaster that it would make sense to open housing facilities in South Carolina’s three evaluation centers located in Union, Columbia and Ridgeville. According to Prabhu’s report, “studies show that when a young person serving a sentence in a juvenile facility has regular visits from family, they are less likely to commit another crime in the future.” — Chris Trainor

State Creating Domestic Violence Supervisor Posts

The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon is training 20 officers to specifically focus on supervising domestic violence offenders. According to The Post and Courier, department director Jerry Adger says the goal is to prevent those who have committed domestic violence from offending again. “There’s a serious issue with domestic violence in South Carolina,” Adger said. “And those folks that are under our supervision, they come out of the system.  ... We’re responsible for them. In order to make sure that they don’t recidivate, or they don’t reoffend, we need to be prepared to help them.” — Chris Trainor

Graham Rolls Out Dreamer Plan 

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham “delivered an impassioned plea to colleagues to get on what he called the right side of history when it comes to the immigration debate,” The Post and Courier’s Emma Dumain reports. Graham and Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, filed the Dream Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers, a group of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The Dreamers are currently protected from deportation by an Obama-era executive order; however, attorneys general from 10 states including South Carolina have threatened to sue the Trump administration if it doesn’t withdraw that protection. — Eva Moore

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