Category Archives: Environment

DHEC, Partners Revitalize Site In Clover, SC

Henrys Knob group

PHOTO: Henry’s Knob AOC 1.  Pictured left to right: Don Siron, BLWM Assistant Bureau Chief; Sara McDonald, Project support; Joel Padgett, Project Manager; Susan Fulmer, Federal Remediation Section Manager.

DHEC‘s Bureau of Land and Waste Management (BLWM) staff joined the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 to celebrate the successful ecological revitalization of the Henry’s Knob Superfund Site on May 1. The EPA awarded ABB, Inc. (ABB) their Excellence in Site Reuse Award for ABB’s efforts to restore the former mine site to a natural habitat. Region 4 established the “Excellence in Site Reuse” award to recognize those who have supported the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative through outstanding efforts when redeveloping a Superfund site.

Located in Clover, SC, the Henry’s Knob site was operated as an open pit kyanite mine from 1947 through 1965. Kyanite is a mineral used in refractory, ceramic and porcelain products. Mined ore-grade rock was ground up and floated to separate kyanite from other minerals. The waste rock and tailings were dewatered in ponds and piles and left onsite. Where iron sulfide minerals in the waste are exposed to water and oxygen, acid mine drainage occurs and can impact surface water and groundwater. These acidic conditions can mobilize metals. At the Henry’s Knob site, these conditions led to over 37 acres of unvegetated soils vulnerable to erosion, acidic water in the mine pit and surface drainages, and contamination of groundwater impacting nearby private water supply wells.

In the 1990s, ABB acquired the company that operated the mine and the environmental legacy associated with the property. Through an adaptive management approach, ABB and EPA worked with former BLWM project managers Chuck Williams and Kayse Jarman and current project managers Joel Padgett and Sara MacDonald to identify a cleanup approach to stabilize the impoundment dams, mitigate on-going erosion of the mine tailings through revegetation and stormwater control, and minimize impact to groundwater and nearby surface water. Beginning with a successful pilot study in 2013 and completed in December 2017, mine tailings in four areas of concern were successfully revegetated. HenryKnob-before-afterTraditionally, “dig and haul” has been used to remove tailings from mine sites.  However, amending the soils in place leaves a lower carbon footprint and literally transformed these barren, low-pH soils into green fields. In other efforts to “green” the cleanup and provide economic benefit to the local community, ABB’s contractor locally sourced hay and organic compost to amend the soil, riprap to stabilize channels and dam faces, and native seeds to increase pollinator habitat.

This interim remedy approach has not only turned the site into an attractive ecological habitat and renewed the view for Henry’s Knob’s neighbors but also has served as an important first step in improving surface water and groundwater in the area.  BLWM will continue to partner with EPA and ABB as the project moves into the next phase of cleanup.

Two Of The Newest Members of SCEEP Doing Their Part To Protect The Environment

DHEC’s Office of Environmental Affairs visited with two of the newest members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program recently to talk with managers and staff about the Bridgestone Americas Aiken Off Road Tire Plant and the PSR Plant in Aiken. Both facilities are very involved with their communities and are doing their part towards environmental sustainability.

Aiken Off Road Tire Plant

The Aiken Off Road Tire Plant is the newest Bridgestone Americas facility in Aiken and they are harvesting rain water. Since 2015, more than 16 million gallons of rainwater has been harvested. Total water usage continues to decrease due in part to the rainwater

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Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Rebecca Sproles, EA Liaison, present Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations – Aiken Off Road Tire Plant with their SCEEP Member Certificate and Glass Award.

collection as well as using low flow water fixtures, waterless urinals and closed loop cooling. This facility is also recycling 100 percent of its production waste, upgrading LED fixtures and adding occupancy sensors to help reduce energy usage.

The Aiken Off Road Tire Plant also hosts a Community Outreach Event at the Gregg Park Civic Center in Graniteville that is open to children of the Graniteville, Vaucluse, and Warrenville communities.  This event helps promote conservation ad positive community relations with citizens.

PSR Plant

The PSR Plant is using solar energy throughout its facility and many outlying areas use solar exclusively.  Natural lighting in the warehouse is used during daytime hours to conserve energy consumption and in many places interior lighting has been converted to low-energy consuming LED lights.

The PSR Plant has maintained a 100 percent recycle rate for plant wastes and no manufacturing waste is shipped to landfills. This plant is also LEED Silver-certified since

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Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Rebecca Sproles, EA Liaison, present Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations – PSR Plant with their SCEEP Member Certificate and Glass Award.

2009 by the Green Building Council. An environmental learning center is on site and located outdoors, complete with a disc golf course, a horseshoe gaming area and walking trails. This center is used by PSR plant teams as well as civic groups, church groups and schools. A bluebird habitat is maintained on site in conjunction with the South Carolina Bluebird Society. A total of 31 bluebird boxes are on site and are monitored weekly by employee volunteers. Over the past 10 years, a total of 1,377 eggs have been in the boxes with 965 young fledge hatching so far.

Congratulations to both the Aiken Off Road Tire Plant and the PSR Plant of Bridgestone Americas for your work towards environmental sustainability. Both facilities will be members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program through 2021.

Learn more

For more information on becoming a member of the SCEEP, please contact Rebecca Sproles at sprolemr@dhec.sc.gov or 803-898-3139.

DHEC in the News: DHEC mobile care unit, flu, opioids and meth

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

DHEC’s mobile care unit deploying to counties facing severe flooding

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WPDE) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will use its WIC Mobile Clinic to help those who can’t get to local health departments due to recent flooding from Hurricane Florence.

Later this week the mobile care van will travel to the Cheraw and Marion areas to provide adult immunizations and nutrition services for eligible women and children.

DHEC to deploy mobile care unit to SC flood stricken areas

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – The South Carolina Department of Health says it will roll out its WIC mobile clinic to help residents in areas recovering from the flood.

General Interest

80,000 deaths caused by flu last season, CDC says

(CNN)An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means it was the deadliest season in more than four decades — since 1976, the date of the first published paper reporting total seasonal flu deaths, said CDC Spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.

In previous seasons, flu-related deaths have ranged from a low of about 12,000 during the 2011-2012 season to a high of about 56,000 during the 2012-2013.

While America wages war on opioids, meth makes its comeback

(CNN)For Capt. Mark Wollmershauser Jr. and the Tulsa Police Department, the late-2000s and early 2010s were an extremely dangerous time.

In Oklahoma, a state that is no stranger to the scourge of methamphetamine addiction, those years were the heyday of the “shake and bake” method — a rudimentary way of making meth using just cold medicine, some toxic chemicals and an empty two-liter bottle.

The technique is simple enough that many addicts can cook their own meth, but with one tiny misstep, the chemical reaction that occurs inside can cause deadly explosions.

Pollution Prevention Week

Over the past few years, the third week of September has come to be known as Pollution Prevention (P2) Week. P2 Week (September 17-23) is a time for businesses, governments, and individuals to focus on preventing pollution, celebrating achievements, improving existing pollution prevention practices, and initiating new ones. You, too, can play a part in conserving our planet’s resources and moving us toward sustainability.

Here are some things you can do at HOME to help prevent pollution:

  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and electric appliances when not in use. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and buy Energy Star appliances.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaners and seal all containers to prevent harmful chemicals from evaporating into the environment.
  • Use electric-powered lawn equipment and bag yard clippings at the beginning of seed growing season to prevent them from being dispersed.
  • Reduce waste by reusing containers, composting food scraps, canceling unsolicited junk mail, and buying goods that use minimal packaging.

Here are some things you can do at WORK to help prevent pollution:

  • Form a Green Team. It is much easier to make your work place greener as a team.
  • Use your business’s intranet to educate employees on being green: Display a calendar with a focus on pollution prevention awareness events such as Earth Day, P2 Week, special recycle and paper shred days and bike-to-work day.
  • Promote recycling at work and make it easier to recycle by having an area where people can leave unwanted items that can be reused or repurposed.
  • When replacing office products (computers, faxes, etc.), choose ENERGY STAR-certified products.

Here are some things you can do at PLAY to help prevent pollution:

  • Use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike whenever possible to get to your destination.
  • Be car care aware; keeping your car in good condition can help reduce carbon emissions.
  • When on vacation, take your own toiletries and reuse towels to reduce energy usage and hot water consumption.
  • Use electronic tickets when traveling by saving or downloading the documents to your mobile devices.

For more information about Pollution Prevention week and how you can help prevent and reduce pollution, browse the South Carolina Smart Business Recycling Guide or go to https://www.epa.gov/p2.

DHEC to Host 2018 Environmental Assistance Conference

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Environmental Affairs is excited to announce the 2018 Environmental Assistance Conference – Compliance Assistance and Customer Service: DHEC and Industry Working Together.  The agenda will include regulatory compliance and permitting topics such as hazardous waste, dams, stormwater, air quality, solid waste and legislative updates.

Additionally, the conference will again have an “Exhibitor Showcase” featuring up to 30 businesses and organizations as well as DHEC staff to answer any technical or permitting questions.

The conference will be held on November 7, 2018, at the Columbia Conference Center in Columbia. You don’t want to miss this event!

Registration is currently open:

Registrations for both attendees and exhibitors is on a first come, first serve basis. Space is available for 30 exhibitors and approximately 250 attendees. The exhibitor fee is $250 per table and includes registration for two attendees. The attendee fee is $55 per person. All registrations include access to the exhibitor room, all presentations, a light breakfast, lunch, and breaks.

For conference updates and to register for the conference, please visit our website at www.scdhec.gov/environment/eac.  Questions about the conference or registration can be directed to Rebecca Sproles at sprolemr@dhec.sc.gov or 803-898-3139.