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      DHEC to hold meeting on large potato farm

      AIKEN, S.C. (AP) -- The agency in charge of watching over South Carolina's environment is holding a public meeting to discuss a large potato farm in Aiken County.

      The Department of Health and Environmental Control will host a discussion Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. about Walther Farms, which has received permission to draw up to 9 billion gallons of walker from the South Fork of the Edisto River.

      DHEC says the meeting is a courtesy to residents because public meetings on large water withdrawals aren't required under a recently passed state law.

      Opponents of the 3,700-acre potato farm say allowing it to withdraw that much water from the river could increase pollution and deplete the amount of water going into a Lowcountry nature preserve.

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