TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 58-27-25 SO AS TO PROVIDE AN ELECTRICAL UTILITY OPERATING IN THIS STATE SHALL BURY ALL OF ITS NEW ELECTRICAL POWER TRANSMISSION LINES INSTALLED WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF A MUNICIPALITY IN THIS STATE BEGINNING JANUARY 2, 2022, AND SHALL BURY ALL OF ITS EXISTING ELECTRICAL POWER TRANSMISSION LINES LOCATED WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF A MUNICIPALITY IN THIS STATE ACCORDING TO A GRADUATED SCHEDULE BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2027; AND TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-20, RELATING TO AREAS TO WHICH THE CHAPTER IS INAPPLICABLE, SO AS TO MAKE THE CHAPTER APPLICABLE TO SECTION 58-27-25.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 27, Title 58 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 58-27-25. (A) An electrical utility operating in this State shall bury:
(1) all of its new electrical power transmission lines installed within the boundaries of a municipality in this State beginning January 2, 2022;
(2) all of its existing electrical power transmission lines located within the boundaries of a municipality before January 1, 2027, as follows:
(a) at least twenty-five percent of the lines must be buried before January 1, 2024;
(b) at least fifty percent of the lines must be buried before January 1, 2025;
(c) at least seventy-five percent of the lines must be buried before January 1, 2026; and
(d) one hundred percent of the lines must be buried before January 1, 2027.
(B) This section applies to all electrical utilities, including electrical utilities otherwise exempted from the provisions of this chapter."
SECTION 2. Section 58-27-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 58-27-20. The provisions of this chapter, except for Section 58-27-25, shall not apply to the areas within former municipal corporate limits, where
such this municipality becomes a part of a consolidated political subdivision whenever such when this municipality owns and operates its own electric system and so long as such this system continues to be owned and operated by the consolidated political subdivision."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.