Tag Archives: Environmental Health

Celebrate World Water Monitoring Day: Become a Certified Stream Quality Specialist

World Water Monitoring Day was established to create awareness about the importance of protecting water resources around the world by engaging people to monitor their local water bodies. Water monitoring kits can be ordered any time for purchase.

Do you like the outdoors and getting your feet wet in streams?

Would you like to learn first-hand about the water quality where you live?

Are you interested in citizen science?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, join the citizens of South Carolina who have been certified to monitor stream quality though the South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream program. Established in 2017, SC Adopt-a-Stream is an EPA-approved freshwater monitoring program that teaches volunteers how to collect bacteria, biological parameters, and chemical and physical data (including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity).

SC Adopt-a-Stream has awarded 1,400 certifications to contribute to the program. Over 200 sites statewide have been identified within the program’s database. Volunteers can become certified to collect data by attending one of the free workshops offered around the state.

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Upcoming workshops:

Date Time Location
September 28, 2019 9:30AM USC Upstate Campus
October 5, 2019 9:30AM USC Upstate Campus
October 11, 2019 9:00AM 506 South Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC
October 16, 2019 NOON Center for Watershed Excellence

 

For more details about upcoming workshops and registration, visit: https://www.clemson.edu/public/water/watershed/scaas/aas-events.html. Follow SC Adopt-a-Stream on Facebook. This program is led in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Clemson University’s Center for Watershed Excellence.

Registration Now Open for the 13th Annual Environmental Assistance Conference on November 19, 2019

DHEC’s Office of Environmental Affairs will host the 13th Annual Environmental Assistance Conference on Tuesday, November 19, from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Cooperative Conference Center (169 Laurelhurst Ave, Columbia, SC).  This year’s theme is 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 feature up to 30 local businesses and organizations in our exhibitor showcase. DHEC staff will also be available to answer any technical or permitting questions.

“DHEC’s annual Environmental Assistance Conference unites environmental regulators with DHEC staff and offers an exciting opportunity for continued learning and instruction on important topics relevant to our community and partners,” said Myra Reece, DHEC’s director of Environmental Affairs.  “DHEC strives to meet our agency values of pursing excellence, innovation, service and teamwork. This conference is just one example of how DHEC’s dedicated Environmental Affairs team exemplifies our agency’s values by creating a learning and networking environment between the regulated community and our staff year after year.”

Deadline to register is Sunday, November 10.  Registration for both attendees and exhibitors is on a first come, first serve basis. Space is available for up to 30 exhibitors and approximately 250 attendees. The attendee fee is $45 per person. The exhibitor fee is $300 per table and includes registration for two attendees. All registrations include access to the exhibitor room, all presentations, a light breakfast and lunch.

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. You don’t want to miss this event!

 

DHEC In the News: Environmental testing at abandoned SC mill, Possum spotted inside local restaurant, SC opioid epidemic

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

Environmental testing to occur at abandoned SC mill site

LYMAN, S.C. (WRAL.com) Environmental testing could start by the end of the month at an abandoned mill in South Carolina to determine how best to clean it up.  Lyman officials hope the 50-acre (8 hectare) property could be redeveloped to bring new life to an area that has become an eyesore after the plant closed in 2005.

 

‘I paid my bill of $36 and left’: SC woman spotted opossum inside restaurant during meal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS.com) Customers at a Columbia area restaurant recently received an unexpected visit at the bar. A South Carolina woman says she and her family noticed an opossum under the counter at Applebee’s on Fernandina Road Friday night. Needless to say, the woman was less than thrilled by the possum’s appearance.

 

Experts say the opioid epidemic is putting people at risk for Hepatitis C infections

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBFNews.com) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly 2.4 million Americans live with Hepatitis C. Studies show there’s a link between the infectious disease and the opioid epidemic. In South Carolina, the number of diagnosed cases has gone up since 2010.  Hepatitis C is most commonly spread through injection drug use. The CDC reports in 2012, there were around 3,300 cases of Hepatitis C in the Palmetto State. That number nearly doubled in 2018 with a little over 6,400 cases of chronic Hepatitis C, with the rate of approximately 127 per 100,000 people.

DHEC In the News: Obtaining Burn Permits, First SC Green Ribbon School Award & Swim Advisories

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

Jasper County Fire-Rescue reminds residents to get burn permits

 

RIDGELAND, S.C. (Bluffton Today) Jasper County Fire-Rescue said in May it has responded to more than 380 calls for service. Crews also responded to seven brush fires, with JCFR saying six were preventable.  JCFR advises residents that anytime you decide to burn, the State Precautions Law requires anyone not within city or town limits to obtain a burn permit from the South Carolina Forestry Commission before lighting the fire.

 

First South Carolina School honored as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School for Environmental Initiatives

COLUMBIA, S.C. (MidlandsBiz.com) Dutch Fork Elementary School in Lexington County is the first South Carolina school to be recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Education for environmentally conscious programming.  The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), in a partnership with the S.C. Department of Education, the S.C. Energy Office and a variety of state and local partners, nominated Dutch Fork Elementary School to be recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School (ED-GRS).

 

DHEC urges people to avoid swimming at this section of Myrtle Beach due to high bacteria levels

 

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (Fox Carolina) The advisory is for water at the public access point at 17th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach.  DHEC said bacteria levels that are above state and federal standards were detected in the water, and swimming is not advised in the area until bacteria levels return to normal.

Be Sun Safe: May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month

(GIF Credit:  https://giphy.com/gifs/qutisuYBaGfFC)

Sundress and shorts season has officially begun.  Are you protected?  According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, melanoma of skin (skin cancer) is the 5th leading cause of new cancer cases in the state (see below).

Skin Cancer Table

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated each year?  Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources such as tanning beds.  Anyone can get skin cancer, but it can be cured if found and treated early.  Talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual moles or changes to your skin.

Whether you are taking a trip to the beach or doing some much-needed gardening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher, and both UVA and UV protection
  • Avoid indoor tanning

Being in the sun does not have to be worrisome.  Just make sure you protect yourself. Visit the CDC for more fun safety tips and  follow their  hashtag #SunSafeSelfie for pictures of people all over the world who are taking action to protect themselves from the sun – and having fun while doing it!