Tag Archives: Environment

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.

From Other Blogs: Drought, infectious disease prevention and the opioid response, broccoli & more

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

Tracking Network Data Spotlight: Drought

You don’t have to live in a desert to experience drought. Did you know that 48 states experienced drought in 2016? Dry periods of below-average rainfall are experienced throughout the United States: they can be relatively short or last years, and can cover both large and small areas.

Extended dry periods have become more frequent in parts of the United States during the past several decades. This can affect people’s health in a number of ways.  CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) allows users to track the duration and severity of drought over time throughout the country. This information can inform a wide variety of environmental and public health efforts related to drought. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

Integrating Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment into the Opioid Response

The opioid crisis in the United States is devastating the lives of millions of Americans. Perhaps overshadowed by the alarming rise in overdoses and deaths is the accompanying numbers of injection-related infectious diseases. Opioid overdose deaths increased fivefold from 1999 to 2016, and new hepatitis C infections more than tripled from 2010 to 2016.

Some communities that have been hardest hit by the opioid crisis have also seen associated increases in hepatitis B and C and other infections, such as endocarditis, septic arthritis and abscesses, driven by increases in the numbers of people who inject opioids. — From the US Department of Health & Human Services blog

Always in Season: Frozen Broccoli 5-Ways

Summer is in full swing with warm, long days to enjoy with friends and family. The season offers a perfect time to stock your freezer with vegetables to have on-hand. Frozen vegetables are simple to store and an easy way to make half your plate fruits and vegetables year round. One popular freezer favorite for every season is frozen broccoli.

Broccoli mixes well with a variety of flavors and sauces and can be used in a many recipes. The convenience of frozen broccoli makes it easy to add to soups, casseroles, egg dishes and more. Part of the MyPlate Dark Green Vegetable subgroup, broccoli adds lively color to meals and provides nutrients such as dietary fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamin C. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

NIFA-Funded Research Aims to Keep Bees on the Job

Bee populations in North America have been in decline since the 1940s. This is of great concern to the agriculture industry because about 75 percent of specialty crops depend on the services of pollinators – of which bees are the most economically important.

In the United States, honey bees and native bees are the most economically important species contributing approximately $15 billion in crop value. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invests in research to investigate the reasons for the declining populations, promote pollinator health, reduce honey bee colony losses, and restore pollinator habitats. — From the USDA blog

DHEC Continues Its Work To Improve Permitting Process

        The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included DHEC’s work with Boeing in its Smart            Sectors program video highlighting best practices in environmental permitting.

By Shelly Wilson
Permitting and Federal Facilities Liaison

On June 26, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted DHEC’s efforts to streamline the permitting process for the Boeing expansion in North Charleston as a national best practice.

EPA specifically showcased DHEC permitting for the Boeing expansion as an example of how planning, collaboration, and innovation can be good for the environment, the community, and the economy.

This recognition from the EPA affirms DHEC’s overall efforts at improving the permitting process. DHEC has been working to streamline its permitting over the past several years, and the Boeing expansion and the new Volvo plant are excellent examples of the agency’s integrated joint planning process that kept permitting schedules on target or faster.

DHEC has reduced the average time it takes to issue South Carolina permits by about 40 percent since 2007. That yields an estimated economic impact between $72 million and $103 million each year for the state and shows that protective permitting can be done quickly and fit well within the community.

The size of your project doesn’t matter

The effort to streamline the permitting process isn’t aimed at just larger companies. No matter the size of your enterprise, DHEC will work to minimize the time it takes to get the necessary permits.

Whether you’re starting the business of your dreams or are seeking to expand, you will likely have to get a permit from DHEC if that new enterprise or expansion could have an impact on the public health or the environment in South Carolina.

We know permitting can be challenging. At DHEC we are working hard to serve you, to make permitting transparent, and to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.

We believe permitting should be clear, timely, and responsive. That is why we created Permit Central, launched by former Governor Nikki Haley in 2013. Permit Central is a service that helps our customers see the whole permitting picture up front, get help getting started, and jointly plan a permit target schedule.

Permit Central improving customer service

How do you engage Permit Central?  It’s really up to you. You can go through the interactive questionnaire on our website at www.scdhec.gov/PermitCentral/PermitCentral/ and it will tell you the permits that you will likely need. The website is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and does not retain any of the information that you enter.

If you’d like, give me a call and we can talk through your permitting questions. I will be your tour guide through the entire permit journey. You can also contact me to set up a discussion with our Permit Central Team made up of knowledgeable DHEC representatives who can help answer your more detailed questions.

PermitCentral

When you talk with us early in your planning process we can help advise you on which permitting strategies best suit your plans. We can also give you planning times and work with you to develop a joint permit target schedule. When we have jointly developed a schedule with those seeking permits, we have been very successful in meeting that target schedule.

No matter how big or small your plans are — personal (such as homebuilding) or business — or whether you just want to know more about an upcoming local business application, don’t hesitate to contact me through Permit Central to get your questions answered.

Contact Shelly Wilson at (803) 898-3138, (803) 920-4987 or wilsonmd@dhec.sc.gov

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.