Regulations crafted to protect South Carolina’s natural resources may be scaled back or eliminated under a new plan developed by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The proposals are aimed at scaling back any unnecessary rules that place a burden on businesses and employers. It’s a longstanding and, at times, partisan debate whether certain regulations, both at the federal and state level, are more backbreaking than beneficial to businesses.

Certain rules can appear to be crafted nonsensically, almost aimed at hampering growth, while doing little to protect our natural environment. However, particularly in a sour economy, lawmakers and bureaucrats can be tempted to strip regulations that may be deemed superfluous, but serve a much-needed environmentally friendly purpose. Consequently, any changes to the state’s environmental regulations should be carefully examined before ultimately being approved.

When considering policies that impact our state’s air, water and land, we certainly want a comprehensive review of anything that could be irrevocably harmful, both to our business community and environmental resources.

Fortunately, the proposed changes must go through Gov. Nikki Haley’s regulatory reform task force, which will hold a series of public meetings in July to receive feedback, according to The State newspaper. The new rules must also be approved by the state legislature before becoming official. The department wants to alter a number of environmental rules, including air and water pollution controls and hazardous and infectious waste management rules.

Unneeded regulations should be scrapped, but determining the pluses and minuses of those rules need to be properly examined.

Removing rules that are outdated or redundant can clean up our laws and regulations, while promoting growth. But removing pertinent ones may cause unforeseen damage for future generations.