Planning Services

The Planning Services Program works together with communities to shape municipal plans and ordinances, resolve conflicts, and provide technical assistance addressing critical issues facing our member governments. Through years of experience providing community development solutions to member governments in the Appalachian region, we have access to expertise that might not be available locally. Additionally, bringing in a nonpartisan consultant is often desirable when you are seeking a neutral perspective in planning your projects.

Planning assistance services include training for your staff and advisory boards, supplemental staffing for zoning administration services, development or updates of neighborhood, comprehensive, and vision plans as well as development of planning ordinances

Benefits of using the Appalachian Council of Governments for planning assistance include our familiarity with the local area and the issues facing our member governments, our experience working with other, similarly-sized communities in this region, and our excellent value.

208 Water Quality Program

ACOG is designated by SCDHEC as the 208 planning agency for the Appalachian Region to review wastewater projects for conformance with the Appalachian 208 Water Quality Management Plan.

The purpose of a 208 Plan is to protect natural water resources and improve water quality while meeting the region’s present and future sewer demands. In order to fulfill this purpose, the 208 Plan must:

  1. Control water pollution from point sources and, to a lesser degree, non-point sources.
  2. Plan for adequate sewer infrastructure to accommodate development over the next twenty (20) years.
  3. Provide policies and programs intended to protect regional water quality.
  4. Provide an inventory of point source pollution sites (NPDES discharge permit sites).
  5. Identify the agencies needed to manage and carry out the 208 Plan.

The 208 Plan is used to guide decisions pertaining to the issuance of NPDES permits (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits). The 208 Plan identifies the location, sizing, and service area of public wastewater treatment facilities in the ACOG region. Each designated regional water quality planning agency reviews each NPDES application to assure that it is in conformance with the 208 Plan as part of the SCDHEC permit issuance process.

To request a Conformance Review of a sewer project please fill out the form linked below and email it to

SCDHEC's 208 Water Quality Management Plan

208/201 Conformance Request Form

Transportation Planning

The Appalachian Council of Governments (ACOG) is committed to working with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Anderson, Greenville/Pickens, and Spartanburg MPOs to develop an efficient,multi-modal transportation system which will increase the mobility of people and goods within the Appalachian Region. The COG assists the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in the long-range planning of rural transportation improvements including highway infrastructure, public transit, planning studies, and other needs as appropriate. The COG works with jurisdictions in the region to prioritize local needs and make recommendations to the SCDOT for funding of highway and transit projects.

Transportation Planning

Planning Education Opportunities

Each local government is responsible for arranging 3-hours of continuing education training each year for their staff, planning, zoning, and architectural review officials. In addition, all new board members and staff members must take six hours of orientation training within one year of their appointment or hire date.

The Appalachian Council of Governments (ACOG) offers continuing education and orientation classes during the year. For more information on registering for upcoming classes go to the Training link on our website or contract Jennifer Vissage ( 

Planning Education Class Schedule for 2024

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