Category Archives: Environment

DHEC in the News: New EPA Region 4 Administrator, drug arrest, pregnant women’s vitamin D levels

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

EPA Announces Appointment of Trey Glenn to Region 4 Administrator

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the appointment of Trey Glenn of Alabama to become Regional Administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4).  Mr. Glenn will employ his 22 years of environmental and regulatory experience in leading the environmental protection efforts across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Conway Dentist Charged With Obtaining Drugs for Personal Use

Conway, S.C. (WPDE) — A Conway dentist has been arrested for violating drug distribution laws and obtaining drugs for his own personal use.

General Interest

Boosting pregnant women’s vitamin D levels may decrease risk of premature births: study 

Every day, more than 1,000 babies are born prematurely across North America. But new research suggests that many of those early deliveries could be avoided by boosting pregnant women’s vitamin D levels.

A new study from South Carolina involving more than 1,000 pregnant women found that up to 90 per cent of them had a vitamin D deficiency. The problem was especially pronounced among African-American and Hispanic women, researchers found.

South Atlantic Canners renews its commitment to protect the environment

Congratulations to South Atlantic Canners/Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated on their recent renewal into the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP), a voluntary program for companies committed to improving and protecting our state’s environment.

South Atlantic Canners is located in Bishopville, South Carolina, and is the second largest production center for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated. They have four production lines, including the fastest can and 2-liter lines in the company.  Approximately 38 million cases of Coca-Cola product is produced at the facility per year.

South Atlantic Canners reportedly achieved zero waste to landfill status in 2014 and any materials that can’t be recycled are sent to an energy recovery facility.  Between 2011 and 2015, the facility reduced its overall carbon footprint by 3 percent, despite having an 8 percent increase in production.  They have also reportedly had decreases in their carbon dioxide emissions.

Community activities are also a strong point at South Atlantic Canners.  They are members of an “Adopt a Highway” program and have developed an “Adopt a Stream” program.  They have an extensive in-house recycling program and encourage employee participation on a recycling team.  Other community activities include a rain barrel donation program as well as a rain garden.

Join us in congratulating South Atlantic Canners/Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated on their renewed membership in the SCEEP.  Their membership will continue through March of 2020.

For more information about the SCEEP, please contact Rebecca Sproles at 803-898-3139 or sprolemr@dhec.sc.gov.

DHEC in the News: Eclipse, Summerville pool, safe sleep for babies

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

Officials stress safety tips for solar eclipse day saying ‘Team South Carolina is ready’

Five college football games ending all at once. A hurricane evacuation. Several inches of snow.

These are a few of the logistical headaches South Carolina safety authorities have compared to the potential impact of the total solar eclipse set to pass directly over the state Monday afternoon.

With as many as 2 million visitors expected to descend on the Palmetto State to witness the rare event, officials are reminding residents one final time to avoid putting themselves in precarious situations.

DHEC: no ongoing chemical issues at Summerville pool 

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control says they found no ongoing chemical issues at the Ashborough pool in Summerville following a chemical release incident at the pool.

General Interest

Most moms aren’t putting babies to sleep safely, study says

(CNN) — Despite a 23-year campaign urging that babies be put to bed on their backs, only 43.7% of US mothers report that they both intend to use this method and actually do so all the time, according to a new study.

The Safe to Sleep campaign has been telling both caregivers and parents to use this position since 1994. Placing babies on their backs before they go to sleep reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, an unexplained fatal condition also known as SIDS, as well as other sleep-related infant deaths like suffocation, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DHEC in the News: Immunizations, opiods, ‘One City Two Canals’

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

Health officials encourage parents to get child vaccinated

(WSPA) – At the end of every summer, most parents begin to stress about one thing.

“Oh goodness, going back to school is always a kind of crazy time school shopping for school supplies usually new shoes and new clothes,” said Erin VanDuinen, Anderson County parent.

But it also typically includes that yearly visit to the doctor. There are a number of immunizations that are required for your child prior to heading back to school.

“Its prevention, you are preventing a lot of major illnesses or death just by getting a simple shot,” said nurse Amber Littmann.

‘You need treatment along with prescription’; focus on opioid addiction as medical issue is vital, officials say

Opioid addiction is a complex problem that has to been seen more as a medical condition, and less as a moral failure, if addicts are to get the help they need, health and law enforcement officials say.

“There is not a silver bullet, but I think that the United States government needs to step up to the plate and do more to treat it more kindly and participate in finding ways to treat it more effectively,” Dr. Monnie Singleton of Singleton Health Center in Orangeburg said.

“Incarceration doesn’t do a thing. … What they need to do is really embrace the fact that opioid addiction is a medical condition,” he said.

Opioid prescription rates have been linked to addiction and overdose.

One City Two Canals at Columbia’s Riverfront Park offers update from flood

Columbia, SC (WLTX) – The One City Two Canals tour on Columbia’s Riverfront Park came with a flood update and a cool history lesson Saturday afternoon.

If you want to know anything about Riverfront Park, you ask Park Ranger Karen Swank Kustafik. When the October flood of 2015 hit this area, it breached the oldest hydro’s. “That’s pretty remarkable because it had been operating consistently from 1898 until October 2015” said Kustafik.

All last year they had a series of engineering tests as a part of the re-building plan. Divers were also taking pictures of the head gates that allow water to come into or out of the Columbia Canal.

Share Your Best Coastal Photograph With the Whole World

Do you love the beauty of South Carolina’s coast? Do you have a talent for capturing that beauty through a camera lens? Then we want to see your best work!

Photographers of all ages and levels of expertise are invited to participate in the annual photography contest sponsored by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The winning photo will appear on DHEC’s 2018 annual tide table poster, of which over 12,000 copies are produced and distributed.

DHEC is looking for coastal South Carolina scenes including marshes, beaches or wildlife. The 2017 winner “Ghost Crab at Sunrise” is shown above.

Rules:

  • Horizontal orientation is required
  • Color photographs and digital photos are accepted with a limit of five pictures per entry
  • Digital photos should not exceed a total combined file size of 25 megabytes
  • All entries must be submitted between August 14 and September 15, 2017

The preferred method for entries is via email – dhec_ocrm@dhec.sc.gov.

Entries may also be mailed to:

Coastal Photo Contest
S.C. DHEC – OCRM
1362 McMillan Avenue, Suite 400
Charleston, SC 29405

The winner will be announced in October. For questions about the contest, contact Liz Hartje, Coastal Projects Manager, at hartjeen@dhec.sc.gov or 843-953-9237.