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Posted on: June 8, 2021

Ordinance asks builders to keep polystyrene debris from blowing off site

BEAUFORT, S.C. (June 8, 2021) –  An ordinance that encourages builders to take proactive measures to contain polystyrene litter on construction sites and dispose of it in an environmentally safe method was passed by City Council on June 8 and is effective immediately.

Polystyrene is sometimes used in exterior insulation and when sanded or planed can create small particles of white beads. The material is easily carried by wind.

The Coastal Conservation League helped to draft the ordinance after polystyrene pellets ended up in the Battery Creek marsh on Boundary Street last winter while a hotel was under construction.

The ordinance specifies that rasping equipment used to sand polystyrene surfaces be equipped with a vacuum. It calls for construction netting to capture loose material. It also specifies that such debris be collected and disposed of in sealed bags or enclosed containers. 

At a Work Session on May 11, when the proposed ordinance was discussed, Mayor Stephen Murray said he thought the ordinance made reasonable requirements of builders. “Most of us would agree that it’s unreasonable for folks to let Styrofoam pellets blow into our waterways,” he said.

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