All navigable waters of South Carolina are considered public trust properties owned by the state. The state of South Carolina is the custodian of these lands and/or waters, and it is within the interest of the state to protect the public interest in which these lands are held. Any easements requested across, over, under or through state-owned property, including marshlands and navigable waters, require the approval of the South Carolina Department of Administration (Admin), upon approval of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority. Real Property Services reviews and assesses all such easement requests and presents easement requests to the five-member State Fiscal Accountability Authority for final approval of those easement requests determined to be necessary and beneficial. Applicants must submit a completed easement application to Real Property Services. This application must be accompanied by:
- Two drawings showing the location and dimensions of the easement and bearing the date, name, signature, RLS number and seal of the surveyor.
- Copies of easements or other documents (i.e., encroachments permit) authorizing the use of adjacent lands.
- A copy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and/or the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) construction permit or correspondence granting construction approval.
The request for a state easement is the final step in the permitting process. All other required permits must be obtained prior to requesting Admin and State Fiscal Accountability Authority approval.
Since applicants may be subject to multiple permit requirements, early contact with DHEC should be incorporated into the planning stage of the project so that adequate time may be allowed for the applicant to obtain the appropriate permits for the proposed activity prior to submitting the state easement application.
The consideration for easements granted over marshlands or other navigable water is $200 per acre or any portion of an acre, plus a $500 administrative fee. The fee for all other easements over state lands not exempt from real property oversight is the appraised value of the easement plus a $500 administrative fee. Easements granted over state lands to serve and benefit a state agency are exempt from the aforementioned fees.