DHEC Environmental eNews
October 2021 | View as Webpage
DHEC continues to work with federal, state, and local partners as it responds to COVID-19 in South Carolina. As we remain committed to protecting the safety and health of the public during this ongoing pandemic, DHEC's Environmental Affairs staff is also focused on keeping our customers and stakeholders informed of important events, regulations, meetings, permitting information, and compliance information.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they prefer for their booster dose. Some may prefer to continue with the original type they received, but others may prefer a different vaccine booster. Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. DHEC supports this preliminary CDC recommendation and expects more guidance to be forthcoming in the near future.

Visit the Vax Locator to find vaccine sites near you.
Retail Food Establishments - Written Employee Health Policy 

All permitted retail food establishments are required to have an Employee Health Policy to ensure persons with illnesses that can be transmitted via food handling are excluded from all food handling processes while ill. Note: COVID-19 is NOT a foodborne illness and complaints related to the potential spread of COVID-19 at a restaurant are not enforceable by DHEC.

Food workers at restaurants who are concerned about safety due to potential exposure to COVID-19 should contact the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations.
Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Request for Proposals Now Open

In September, DHEC announced the receipt of nearly $300,000 in grant funding to reduce emissions from diesel engines. The Federal Fiscal Year 2021 State Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open. Applications are due by 5 PM on Friday, November 12, 2021. Applications received after this date will be considered as funding is available. You may email dera@dhec.sc.gov with any questions related to the RFP or DERA grants in South Carolina, or visit our webpage at here.
King Tides Initiative

DHEC is leading the South Carolina King Tides initiative to document the effect that extreme tide events have on our state's beaches, coastal waterways, private property, and public infrastructure. South Carolinian’s can use DHEC’s MyCoast South Carolina application to submit photographs of tidal flooding along the coast. Information collected through MyCoast is used to visualize the impact of coastal hazards and to enhance awareness among decision-makers and stakeholders.
Office of Rural Water

The Office of Rural Water (ORW) collaborates with local and national partners in adapting to changing infrastructures and providing technical assistance to small rural water systems. ORW works to support new, long-term solutions to aging systems. ORW assistance benefits underserved, rural communities which often lack the resources of larger system. ORW assists with technical, managerial, and financial consultation issues related to small water systems and community wastewater systems. The ultimate goal is to achieve tangible improvements to rural water systems that improve the quality of life and health of the residents they serve. The ORW is an integral part of DHEC's Environmental Justice initiative.

To view the ORW 2021 Year in Review please click here.
Test Your Home for Radon during Lung Cancer Awareness Month 
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. According to the CDC, lung cancer kills more people in the US each year than any other type of cancer. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and the risk of radon-induced lung cancer is even higher for smokers

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is found in all 50 states and can easily enter homes and buildings through foundation openings. Radon is only detectable by performing a home test. Once found, radon problems can be fixed. 

South Carolina residents can request a free home radon test kit from DHEC’s South Carolina Radon Program at here.  
Regulatory Updates
Air Pollution Control

DHEC is proposing final revisions to Regulation 61-62, Air Pollution Control. If you’re interested in commenting on the proposed final revisions, you can register for the public hearing here.
Hazardous Waste Management

DHEC is proposing final revisions to Regulation 61-79, Hazardous Waste Management. If you’re interested in commenting on the proposed final revisions, you can register for the public hearing here.
Join Our Team!
As the state agency charged with promoting and protecting South Carolina's public health and environment, DHEC has a legacy of attracting and retaining talented individuals who want to build rewarding and successful careers. DHEC employs a wide range of environmental professionals from engineers and geologists to inspectors and meteorologists.
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