Tag Archives: Environment

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.

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

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.”