Tag Archives: Environment

DHEC Accepting Nominations for Community Star Award Program

DHEC is accepting nominations for the COMMUNITY STAR award program now through Aug. 1, 2018. COMMUNITY STAR recognizes a business, community organization, collaborative partnership or individual in South Carolina that is going above and beyond environmental requirements to build better community relationships, promote environmental sustainability and resiliency, and/or improve quality of life for communities.

COMMUNITY STAR categories include Business Star, Collaborative Star and Rising Star. Award recipients will be announced at DHEC’s annual Environmental Assistance Conference, which will be held later in the fall. Last year’s COMMUNITY STAR was awarded to the Lower Saluda River Coalition, which works to make water quality information more frequently and readily available to river users so they can make informed decisions on when to recreate in the river.

For more information about DHEC’s COMMUNITY STAR award program or to fill out a nomination form, visit www.scdhec.gov/Environment/CommunityStar.

From Other Blogs: High-quality summer meals for children, environmental justice, staying safe in a tornado & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

‘Turnip the Beet’ Recognizes High-Quality Summer Meals for our Nation’s Kids

There are millions of America’s youth who do not have access to nutritious meals when school is not in session. Offering nutritious meals to our nation’s children and teens that are appetizing, appealing and wholesome is a responsibility USDA takes very seriously. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Achieving Tangible Results for Vulnerable Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Environmental Justice FY2017 Progress Report today. It is noteworthy that 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice. The accomplishments highlighted in the report affirm through action how, after a quarter century of progress, environmental justice (EJ) is deeply ingrained in EPA’s fabric. — From the Environmental Protection Agency/s (EPA) blog

Staying Safe in a Tornado

To stay safe during a tornado, prepare a plan and an emergency kit, stay aware of weather conditions during thunderstorms, know the best places to shelter both indoors and outdoors, and always protect your head. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

It’s a Small World After All

The United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has proclaimed April 2018 as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. The goal of IPPDAM is to: increase public awareness of invasive species; provide tips to prevent their spread; and, encourage residents to report signs of them. Today we highlight USDA’s Heather Coady. Ms. Coady, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) employees like her, assist other countries in their pest control efforts by working to stop pests at the source. — From the USDA blog

The U.S. Drought Monitor: A Resource for Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters

Even before the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, agricultural producers have recognized the economic and emotional devastation that drought can cause. Recently, the focus has shifted from dealing with drought as an unexpected hazard, to more proactive planning for the inevitability of drought. One of the tools available to producers is the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the USDA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. — From the USDA blog

DHEC in the News: Recycling e-waste, a new emergency department, preventing Hepatitis C

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

Keep Aiken Green: Know how to recycle e-waste in Aiken County

After birthdays and holidays, once new televisions, new PS4s, new Xbox Ones, new computers, new sound systems and more settle in, the old ones tend to be done away with.

But where those unwanted electronics actually go, according to the state health and environment department, is of utmost importance.

 Bluffton residents will soon have a shorter drive to an emergency room

In response to the Hardeeville area’s budding population, Coastal Carolina Hospital is moving forward with a plan to build a $15 million freestanding emergency department.

The proposed 10,000-square-foot facility will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will feature 12 private treatment areas, including one trauma treatment room.

General Interest

CDC says addiction treatment, syringe service programs are key in preventing spread of Hep C

During an infectious disease prevention webcast Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the key to preventing the spread of hepatitis C is greater access to prevention services.

The CDC said access to safe injection equipment and treatment for drug addiction can lower transmission risks by more than 70 percent.

DHEC in the News: flu, Surfside Beach’s proposed ban of plastic bags

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

SC Health Department encourages pregnant women to get flu shots

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

According to a recent panel survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control, many pregnant women are at risk of getting the flu this season.

Worst SC Flu Season in 8 Years’ May Be Underway

Lexington, SC (WLTX) – This may be the worst flu season in South Carolina in eight years, according to doctors with Lexington Medical Center.

The hospital said Tuesday that in the first week of this year, they’ve had 300 cases of the flu. That compares to 550 cases in December, and just 80 in the month of November.

The most recent flu activity report from DHEC, which was done at the end of last month, showed that the flu was ‘widespread’ in the state. That same survey found that Richland County had the highest number of cases in the Midlands over a one week period.

Plastic bags on route to being banned in Surfside Beach


Plastic bags may soon be banned from the Town of Surfside Beach, after the town council passed the first reading of the ordinance Tuesday night.

“I think banning plastic bags is a good thing,” Surfside Beach Mayor Bill Childs said. “I think this is a good thing that Mrs. Samples has brought forward, and I certainly hope that council does support this. It’s a step in the right direction.”

Three Companies Will Continue Efforts to Protect S.C.’s Environment

Kudos to Patheon API, Inc., CB&I AREVA MOX Services and Comatrol Danfoss for continuing their efforts to protect and preserve South Carolina’s environment by renewing their membership in the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP).

The SCEEP is a voluntary program for companies committed to continuous environmental improvement.  Membership in the program must be renewed every three years.

More about the three companies

Patheon API, Inc. (formerly Roche Carolina, Inc.) has been a member of the program since 2009.  During the past three years, Patheon has made upgrades to equipment to better control air emissions as well as a new system to use during periods of downtime.  With the installation of the new Cryogenic Condensation System and the Carbon Adsorption System, the facility has reported a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 1,400 tons per year.  The company has also installed new chiller units that use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant. Patheon is focusing more on energy conservation and finding new ways to be an environmental leader.

CB&I AREVA MOX Services, located at the Savannah River Site, is a company that is constructing a facility to manufacture pellets by recycling surplus plutonium and mixing it with uranium to be used as fuel in nuclear reactors.  Recently, MOX Services has developed a method to remove the valve pins from their small propylene gas cylinders to ensure they are empty. The cylinders can then be shipped to an offsite facility for recycling.  Without developing the system to remove the pins, the cylinders were considered hazardous waste and unable to be recycled as there was no way to determine if they were [RCRA] empty.  Also, the amount of diesel fuel has been reportedly significantly reduced by running temporary electricity to the diesel generators and diesel light plants when they are needed in operation.  MOX Services has been a member of the SCEEP since 2011.

Comatrol Danfoss, located in Easley, SC, has been a member of SCEEP since 2009. Recycling and energy savings are top priorities at Comatrol Danfoss. The company strives to recycle products used in their production from waste generated to metal turnings and hydraulic oil.  Over the next three years, Comatrol Danfoss plans to further reduce its energy usage by installing new LED lamps and motion detectors for offices to ensure lights are only on when they need to be.  Water saving fixtures and water conserving units also will be installed. Each employee at the Comatrol Danfoss facility is working towards a 5 percent reduction in water usage and landfill reduction.

Congratulations to these three outstanding members of the SC Environmental Excellence Program.  Each of these companies will be members through 2020.

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