Estate Planning Attorney inCarlisle, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Carlisle, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Carlisle that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Carlisle. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Carlisle, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Carlisle, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Carlisle, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Carlisle, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Carlisle, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Carlisle, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Carlisle, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Carlisle, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Carlisle, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Carlisle, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Carlisle, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Carlisle, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Carlisle, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Carlisle, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Carlisle, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Carlisle, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Carlisle, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

CONTACT US

Latest News in Carlisle, SC

‘Carlisle Tour’ offers affordable start to competitive golf

It’s gone by many different names based off of the organizations who host them and the sponsors who attach their name to them, but most of the participants know it by one moniker.The Carlisle Tour.That’s the informal name for Aiken’s local junior golf tour, also known as the Aiken Chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Hootie and the Blowfish Summer Chapter Series.“It has gotten that name, and it stuck. I keep saying, no now, we’re the Aiken chapter of the South Caroli...

It’s gone by many different names based off of the organizations who host them and the sponsors who attach their name to them, but most of the participants know it by one moniker.

The Carlisle Tour.

That’s the informal name for Aiken’s local junior golf tour, also known as the Aiken Chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Hootie and the Blowfish Summer Chapter Series.

“It has gotten that name, and it stuck. I keep saying, no now, we’re the Aiken chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association,” USC Aiken golf coach Michael Carlisle joked. “They’ve got Hootie and the Blowfish sponsoring it, but I guess it’s easier to just say the Carlisle Tour. I guess there’s worse things that could happen. ... Either that, or I’m just the one they’re stuck with running the thing, so they better get my name right if they want to play.”

Carlisle is the director of the tournament series, and he estimated his involvement has lasted for around 35 years. Needless to say, he knows better than anyone how being involved with this local tour can benefit a junior golfer.

“It’s what we refer to as kind of a grassroots start in competitive golf,” he explained. “Golf can be a very expensive game if you’re traveling to tournaments and paying entry fees and staying in hotels and things like that. Here, you can stay at home and travel to these tournaments and get some good, competitive experience.

“Even the better players, when they don’t have anything really good to travel to, they can stay here and play some local golf courses and play with their friends, guys they’ve played and grew up with all along. It is just a good grassroots start into competitive golf where you can get out there and find out if you like competitive golf, if you enjoy doing it, and maybe go on to bigger and better things from there.”

This year’s series has 13 summer dates and between five and eight around Christmas, and he credited the help of the area’s golf courses for making that happen despite the challenges caused by the changing school calendar. Still, they were able to squeeze in the schedule and accommodate everybody.

Per the SCJGA’s website, dues for the Aiken chapter are $150 for the 7-12 age group and $200 for the 13-18 group, and the contact number is (803) 641-3528.

The series has turned benefited players of all ability levels, and Carlisle has seen some good ones pass through - most notably pros like Kevin Kisner, Scott Brown and Charles Howell III.

“And then there’s just been a pile of kids who have gone on to college and played collegiately that have played in that, also. It’s turned out some good players, and it’s turned out a lot of good people who are still in the game.”

Some of those are second-generation players who are keeping it in the family while also reminding Carlisle just how long he’s been running the tour.

“It always amazes me, I’ll run across somebody who calls me up and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got an 8-year-old and I want to get him involved in competitive golf. I played in those tournaments when I was in their age,’” he said. “I’m thinking, good Lord, I’m getting the kids of former players who are playing now, so that kind of dates me a little bit also.”

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Meet the candidates: Carlisle Harrison (Dorchester County Council)

Carlisle Harrison is a retired USAF, MSC, Colonel with over 28 years of active duty service. He has served in leadership positions for multiple hospitals, clinics, and health care networks all over the country and, through his military service, the world. He has served on nonprofit boards and organizations across the spectrum of community engagement and healthcare access.He is the immediate past chairman and current finance committee member of the Fetter Health Care Network (FHCN) board, an organization dedicated to serving the insure...

Carlisle Harrison is a retired USAF, MSC, Colonel with over 28 years of active duty service. He has served in leadership positions for multiple hospitals, clinics, and health care networks all over the country and, through his military service, the world. He has served on nonprofit boards and organizations across the spectrum of community engagement and healthcare access.

He is the immediate past chairman and current finance committee member of the Fetter Health Care Network (FHCN) board, an organization dedicated to serving the insured, uninsured, and undeserved residents of Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston counties. Past Treasurer of Charleston Promise Neighborhood board and current finance committee member, an organization dedicated to providing and facilitating comprehensive programs and services that support children and strengthen families. Graduate of the University of Louisville with a BSC and MA from Central Michigan University. Senior Health Policy Fellowship, Office of the Surgeon General, Bolling AFB, DC. Carlisle and his wife Flora have two children and seven grandchildren and live in North Charleston.

Lori Hammond, aka Lori McCracken, aka Lori Blakely, 54, of Summerville, Christopher Conrad, 41, of Holly Hill, Catherine “Cassie” Needham, 38, of Manning, and Jontrell Wright, 37, of Orangeburg, were sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud for submitting fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and misusing the funds.

Evidence presented during the sentencing hearings established Hammond submitted more than $11 million in fraudulent loan applications for PPP and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loans for her enrichment and the enrichment of her co-conspirators. The loan applications contained inflated employee and payroll funds, were often submitted on behalf of companies that did not exist or were inactive and included fake business addresses and fraudulent tax documents. More than $5.8 million in PPP and EIDL loans were paid to Hammond and her co-conspirators.

“While millions of South Carolinians were struggling during the pandemic, these defendants defrauded the systems meant to provide relief,” said Adair F. Boroughs, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. “We will continue to pursue bad actors such as these and hold them accountable for exploiting these resources for their own gain.”

Hammond personally received $3,162,038.50 in PPP and EIDL loan funds. She spent the money on personal expenses, including purchasing a home, luxury vehicles, a golf cart and plastic surgery. She was sentenced to 80 months imprisonment, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,722,932.50 in restitution, representing the remaining outstanding unpaid loan funds.

Conrad fraudulently received $898,300 in loans and spent the funds on unapproved personal expenses. He was sentenced to 12 months and one day incarceration, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $898,300 in restitution.

Needham fraudulently received $1,244,200 and used the funds for improper personal expenses, including purchasing property, a golf cart, a pool, home improvements and plastic surgery. She was sentenced to 21 months incarceration, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,244,200 in restitution.

Wright fraudulently received $561,700 in loan funds and spent the funds on personal expenses. He was sentenced to 15 months incarceration, followed by a three-year term of supervised release and ordered to pay $561,700 in restitution.

“These sentences reflect the severity of PPP loan fraud,” said Steve Jensen, special agent in charge of the FBI Columbia Field Office. “Such crimes challenge the integrity of relief programs designed for those who need assistance most. The FBI is committed to holding offenders accountable and safeguarding loan programs to ensure the public’s trust in our financial systems.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Limehouse prosecuted this case. The Hon. David C. Norton presided over the sentencing hearings in Charleston.

Opera at USC presents Carlisle Floyd’s 'Susannah' Nov. 1-3

School of Music alum returns to perform in beloved American operaIn the 65 years since its premiere, South Carolina-born composer Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah stands as one of the most beloved American operas. Floyd, dubbed “a master of creating mood in the orchestra” by The Los Angeles Times, is a South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee, 2004 National Medal of Arts awardee and recipient of the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honoree for lifetime work. Opera theater student .&q...

School of Music alum returns to perform in beloved American opera

In the 65 years since its premiere, South Carolina-born composer Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah stands as one of the most beloved American operas. Floyd, dubbed “a master of creating mood in the orchestra” by The Los Angeles Times, is a South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee, 2004 National Medal of Arts awardee and recipient of the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honoree for lifetime work.

Under the direction of Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, the School of Music presents Floyd’s Susannah at the university’s Drayton Hall Theatre Nov. 1-3.

Opera alumnus Daniel Gainey returns to the university to perform the role of Little Bat McClean, a troubled boy and admirer of title character Susannah.

“It is an honor for me to return to South Carolina professionally to help bring Mr. Floyd's music to life in Schlaefer's production,” Gainey says.

Schlaefer, director of opera studies at the University of South Carolina, gives graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to learn from a comprehensive program covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes.

“Ellen's commitment to creating a working theater company for her students, by her students, instilled a great sense of ownership for my opportunities,” Gainey says. “I create my chances as an artist instead of waiting for someone to offer me one.”

Gainey came to UofSC on a full scholarship and he credits that opportunity for opening doors he never expected. Since he graduated in 2007, he has performed as a singer and instrumentalist and directed shows. Gainey is the pastoral musician for St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Asheville, North Carolina. He credits his success in part to opera at South Carolina.

“While I was at USC, I was amazed at how many resources and connections I made,” Gainey says. “I was in a leading role by my sophomore year. I was getting one-on-one time with coaches, professors and audiences. It was an amazing experience.”

The music of Susannah is characterized by Appalachian folk melodies and includes some Protestant hymns and traditional classical music. A prominent part of the opera is Susannah’s soaring aria in Act II, "The Trees on the Mountain," similar to Appalachian folk tunes, but is Floyd's own composition.

The libretto, also written by the composer, has as its basis the apocryphal story of Susannah and the Elders, updated to the recent past and relocated to a fictional rural community. The drama centers on the unjust ostracizing and abuse of Susannah by her community and the powerful leaders who are simultaneously repulsed and captivated by her beauty.

“The opera explores themes of hypocrisy, fear and the malleability of crowds, all of which are extremely relevant to our society today,” says Melissa Starkweather, a second-year master’s student in opera theater and one of two students performing the title role. “It is an exciting thing to be a part of a show which carries such a powerful message. Both the story and the music are absolutely gripping and will leave audiences with a new perspective on the power of fear.”

I hope this work can inspire the next generation of South Carolina operatic talent.

Daniel Gainey, opera alumnus

Senior choral music education and honors student Catherine Howland also plays Susannah.

“Discovering the slow, harrowing transformation and internal struggle that Susannah experiences has been a challenge, but it has also been captivating,” Howland says. “I have loved the opportunity to grow as a performer through this wonderful opera. Susannah warns us of the power of a community to do evil but encourages us to consider how we can instead do good in our own community.”

“People are ostracized and isolated every day, both for things they have done and things they haven’t,” says T.J. Turner, a master's in voice performance student who plays Sam, Susannah’s brother. “This show emphasizes the destruction and emotional turmoil it can cause for not only those who are accused, but also those who are doing the accusing, despite the reason. I think we can all identify with Susannah, but it’s important to take a step back and learn from what the other characters are doing to her and her brother, Sam, throughout this masterpiece.”

Despite its serious topic, Susannah was received well and hailed as an instant classic at its world premiere in Tallahassee, Florida, and later at the New York City Opera in 1956. The appeal of the opera has endured for more than six decades, a rare feat in operas composed in the 20th century. It attests to the composer’s uncommon ability to wed tuneful music with astute dramatic insights to create an opera of complex characters, emotional immediacy and thrilling narrative pace.

“South Carolina has given generously of its talents to the operatic world,” Gainey says. “Carlisle Floyd and Ellen Schlaefer are two such gifts. I hope this work can inspire the next generation of South Carolina operatic talent."

The opera, sung in English, will be performed at Drayton Hall Theatre, 1214 College St., at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2 and at 3 p.m. Nov. 3. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors, UofSC faculty and staff and military; $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available online through the USC Marketplace or at the door. Please note that online and phone sales end at 3 p.m. on opening day. After that you may purchase at the door one hour before showtime.

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Pollution leaks at aging textile plant threaten Broad River, Columbia drinking water

When the small plane he was riding in flew over a closed textile factory several months ago, Bill Stangler saw two slime-covered waste lagoons on the edge of the Broad River north of Columbia.The proximity of the factory’s lagoons to the river worried him. Stangler, the riverkeeper for the Broad, knew the basins were in an area where high levels of hazardous chemicals had been found in groundwater, sewer sludge and wastewater.He also knew the river and one of the state’s largest drinking water plants – 65 mile...

When the small plane he was riding in flew over a closed textile factory several months ago, Bill Stangler saw two slime-covered waste lagoons on the edge of the Broad River north of Columbia.

The proximity of the factory’s lagoons to the river worried him. Stangler, the riverkeeper for the Broad, knew the basins were in an area where high levels of hazardous chemicals had been found in groundwater, sewer sludge and wastewater.

He also knew the river and one of the state’s largest drinking water plants – 65 miles south in Columbia – have shown the same types of chemicals at levels above a proposed federal safe drinking water limit. The site of the lagoons reinforced his concerns that leaks from the plant were perilously close to the river and threatening Columbia’s canal drinking water.

The questions now are whether chemicals from Carlisle Finishing caused the contamination downriver and what can be done to reduce the threat of the toxic pollutants, known as per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Columbia.

“That site is a potential source of PFAS for the Broad River and certainly PFAS that could be found downstream in Columbia’s drinking water,’’ Stangler said. “This is a potential ticking time bomb of pollution that sits less than 100 feet from the Broad River.’’

At Carlisle Finishing, forever chemical pollution is up to 7,200 times higher in groundwater than the proposed federal standard of four parts per trillion, state data show. Tests show sludge from waste basins has forever chemical levels up to 80 times higher than the proposed federal limit.

Levels recorded in the river and Columbia’s drinking water plant are substantially lower, but they still exceed the proposed limit for the two most common types of PFAS.

Clint Shealy, Columbia’s assistant city manager over utilities, said he wants to know whether the city or state can stop future threats and any existing leaks that are contaminating the river at the Carlisle plant.

Not only does Columbia want to limit forever chemicals in drinking water for safety reasons, but stopping them could save the city hundreds of millions of dollars. Columbia faces the prospect of spending more than $150 million for a filtering system to comply with the federal drinking water limit for PFAS if it can’t keep the pollutants out of its water, Shealy has said.

Because PFAS levels aren’t substantially above the proposed limit at the canal plant — they are less than 10 parts per trillion — any reduction in the chemicals in the Broad River could help bring the city into compliance without costly upgrades to its water system, Shealy said.

“The first logical step is to stop putting this stuff in the environment,’’ Shealy said. “Then, let’s see if our PFAS levels start decreasing. It might bring you below that limit and save customers a whole lot of money.’’

PFAS, a class of thousands of compounds, is commonly called forever chemicals because the materials do not break down easily in the environment. Used since the 1940s, the chemicals were vital ingredients in waterproof clothing, stain resistant carpet and firefighting foam.

But they have increasingly been found to be toxic. Exposure has been linked to kidney, testicular and breast cancer, ulcerative colitis and thyroid problems. Forever chemicals also can weaken a person’s immune system and cause developmental delays in children. PFAS manufacturers have been accused of hiding the dangers for decades.

In this case, it’s possible that even if forever chemical pollution can be reduced and cleaned up at Carlisle Finishing, the damage may have been done years ago.

Stangler said it would not be surprising if Carlisle Finishing released the chemicals for years, long before the public knew about the dangers. The company ran a treatment plant for wastewater it generated at the textile factory, but wastewater systems are not required to filter out forever chemicals before releasing wastewater into a river. Only certain pollutants are required to be treated.

For now, state regulators say they are trying to learn more about the problem at Carlisle. The 68-year-old textile plant, which closed about three years ago, is under scrutiny by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control for the pollution found on the sprawling site between Columbia and Spartanburg.

In April, DHEC sent factory representatives a letter calling the environmental problems at Carlisle Finishing “an urgent legal matter.’’ The letter said Elevate Textiles, a one-time owner, is potentially liable to clean up the mess at the Carlisle plant. In addition to forever chemicals in groundwater, DHEC also has found the presence of volatile organic compounds, the agency said. These types of materials include solvents and chlorination byproducts.

“Because the site poses a hazard to human health and the environment, the department recommends that you give this matter your immediate attention,’’ the April letter from DHEC’s Gary Stewart to Elevate Textiles said.

Consultants have submitted a cleanup plan that appears promising, but DHEC needs to push for a resolution as soon as possible to stop the threat, said Stangler and Carl Brzorad, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

The plan says filter systems will be installed to remove PFAS from wastewater before it is released to the Broad River.

Sludge from waste basins also will be disposed of in a lined landfill on the property, according to the April 2023 plan. Sludge from Carlisle Finishing contained forever chemicals, although DHEC did not provide the levels.

In the past, the Carlisle plant distributed sludge to area farmers for use as fertilizer. All told, DHEC had given approval to spread the plant’s waste on more than 80 farm fields that included parts of small communities like Buffalo, Whitmire and Carlisle, state records show.

Tests last year found some wells near sludge fields contained levels of PFAS that would exceed the proposed federal drinking water standard, agency records show. One of those wells showed levels of one type of PFAS was 11 times higher than the proposed limit. DHEC recorded the high level in 2022, before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended the four parts per trillion standard this past spring. All told, the well registered six different types of PFAS.

DHEC has identified sewer sludge as a major potential source of PFAS pollution in rivers and groundwater. Statewide, the agency has approved about 3,500 farm fields as sites for sewer sludge, including areas of eastern South Carolina where wells are polluted with forever chemicals, The State and McClatchy reported in a recent investigative series.

In a brief email to The State, an Elevate Textiles official said the company is working to address “any outstanding issues regarding wastewater processing at the site.’’

The email said the company tries to follow environmental rules and “to employ best industry practices.’’ The official also noted that Elevate Textiles no longer owns the Carlisle Finishing property.

Union County property records show the land, which is more than 700 acres, is owned by two companies with a Monroe, N.C. address: Carlisle WW Holdings LLC and Carlisle Partners LLC. Efforts to reach a representative of the companies were not immediately successful.

The Carlisle Finishing factory was once part of Cone Mills, a national denim and textile manufacturer in North Carolina. The company launched operations in 1955 and became a pillar of the community in tiny Union County. At one point, it had more than 1,100 workers and was the largest employer in the county.

Through the years, the company’s executives won awards from the local chamber of commerce, and Carlisle Finishing was even at one point included on a tour for people interested in the history of Union County.

The plant was sold after Cone Mills declared bankruptcy in 2003, making room for Elevate Textiles to acquire the company. The Carlisle site, while popular among local citizens, isn’t without blemishes. DHEC has made at least eight enforcement cases against Carlisle since 2006 for violations of environmental laws, records show.

McClatchy data journalist Susan Merriam contributed to this story.

This story was originally published July 28, 2023, 10:29 AM.

803-771-8537

Sammy Fretwell has covered the environment beat for The State since 1995. He writes about an array of issues, including wildlife, climate change, energy, state environmental policy, nuclear waste and coastal development. He has won numerous awards, including Journalist of the Year by the S.C. Press Association in 2017. Fretwell is a University of South Carolina graduate who grew up in Anderson County. Reach him at 803 771 8537.

Simpsonville family helps Mauldin Miracle League celebrate 15 years of baseball

MAULDIN – Elijah Carlisle anxiously steps to the plate, baseball bat in hand and hopes of a hit twinkling in his eyes.Much to his delight, there is no shortage of vocal support from the crowd gathered at Mauldin’s Sunset Park on a Saturday morning in May.“Next up is Elijah, from the baseball powerhouse of Carlisle Farms,” announces Jeff Powers, prompting a smattering of chuckles.Indeed, the Carlisle family of Simpsonville has produced many a player for the Mauldin Miracle League in ...

MAULDIN – Elijah Carlisle anxiously steps to the plate, baseball bat in hand and hopes of a hit twinkling in his eyes.

Much to his delight, there is no shortage of vocal support from the crowd gathered at Mauldin’s Sunset Park on a Saturday morning in May.

“Next up is Elijah, from the baseball powerhouse of Carlisle Farms,” announces Jeff Powers, prompting a smattering of chuckles.

Indeed, the Carlisle family of Simpsonville has produced many a player for the Mauldin Miracle League in recent years – nine players overall, including six players during the current spring season.

Five-year-old Elijah is the youngest; 20-year-old Tonesha, or Tia, the eldest.

In between, one will find four other Carlisles wearing the shirts of the “Red Sox” squad – Skyler, 7; Serenity, 8; Journey, 11, and David, 19.

Elijah makes contact, which is the goal of the Mauldin Miracle League, both literally and figuratively.

“When you’re out there with them for two seasons a year for this many years, you become close and really build relationships,” said Tammy Carlisle, mom to Elijah and seven other special needs children. “In a typical league, they would age out. But my 19- and 20-year-olds play on the same team as my 5-year-old.”

The Mauldin Miracle League has been affording this opportunity for special needs young people since its founding 15 years ago by Dennis Raines. The league is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization with a simple mission – namely, to give every child a chance to play baseball.

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“The part that I enjoy is seeing children with physical or developmental challenges go out and play the game,” said Powers, who serves as the league’s director. “It’s great because we don’t have to worry whether the ball is hit or how many strikes you’re going to get. The goal of the league is to have fun. We’re trying to teach the fundamentals of baseball, but we’re not worried about churning out baseball players.

“It’s also important for the parents and families, who sit in the stands and develop camaraderie and have the ability to share with other parents.”

The league, which draws players from a five-county area in the Upstate, also conducts a fall season in September and October and serves approximately 140 young people between its two seasons each year.

“They’re learning from each other, and you get to see the progress from one season to the next,” said Carlisle, who has had kids playing in the league for each of the past eight years. “It’s more of a family-, community-type situation than just a ball team.

“We’re building relationships with people who are like-minded. They all have some special thing about them, to the point that it makes my kids not feel different. They feel included. They feel a part of it. I love that they feel normal. I can’t even tell you how important it has been for us to be part of this.”

Originally from Winter Haven, Florida, the Carlisles visited Greenville while on vacation in 2010 and left duly impressed.

“We just fell in love with the area,” said Jerry Carlisle, the patriarch of the family who works as a hospice nurse. “We decided that if we could find a house and I could get a job, we’d move here. We moved two months later.”

They also wasted little time in finding the Mauldin Miracle League, and like the countless families who have participated in the league have gained much appreciation for organizations such as Greenville Civitan Charities and the Rotary Club of the Reedy River, as well as the many other businesses, volunteers and private contributions that have kept the group thriving.

Local college and high school baseball teams and other groups regularly serve as “buddies,” assisting the players with batting, running and fielding. The minor league Greenville Drive baseball team of the Class A South Atlantic League hosts the players at downtown Greenville’s Fluor Field once each year while also providing uniform shirts for each of the league's eight teams, six of which play each Saturday and two that play every Tuesday.

All games are held at Mauldin's Sunset Park, a facility that also includes a fully accessible playground to accommodate all-comers, including special needs children.

Despite the frenetic pace around the Carlisle home on Saturday mornings, each game is special and highly anticipated.

Alarm clocks blare early, followed by breakfast and uniforms and caps and excitement.

“It’s chaotic,” Tammy says. “And wonderful.”

By 9:30, the Carlisle’s 15-passenger van is filled.

By 10 a.m., the game is under way, and the fun is contagious.

“We cheer for everything,” Tammy says.

Anything goes. In his first few games, Elijah would hit the ball, drop his bat and immediately retrieve his own ball before running the bases.

No problem.

When she hits the ball, Tia always focuses her stare behind the fence to confirm that her parents are watching. Later, when she crosses home plate, she makes a beeline to Tammy for a high-five, as does each member of the Carlisle contingent.

No score is kept.

Everyone’s happy.

All the players get to bat and get a hit.

Some players run to first base; others run wherever their legs or wheels will carry them.

There’s cheering and clapping and smiling and words of encouragement for each player.

“I love the fact that the kids are accepted for who they are,” Tammy said. “I don’t think my kids know that this is a special league. They just know that they put on their uniforms and they go play ball. And that means everything.”

The Saturday gets even better if Jerry Carlisle decides to make a pit stop on the way home for slushees.

When the crowd piles out of the van, many observers ask Jerry and Tammy if they run a day care.

“No,” they reply. “They’re all ours.”

Even at home, the fun and games are never ending.

“People come into our home, and it’s loud,” Tammy said. “It can be overwhelming.”

And, more often than not, wonderful.

“When you open your heart,” Tammy says, “and invite people in, family happens.”

For more information on the Mauldin Miracle League, visit www.mauldinmiracleleague.com or contact Jeff Powers at (864) 303-2362 or jefflori123@charter.net

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