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South Carolina’s DHEC to be Divided into Two Agencies: Department of Environmental Services and Department of Public Health Effective From July 1

Environmental conservation teamwork.

South Carolina’s DHEC Splits Into Two Agencies

In an unprecedented move, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will be split into two distinct agencies, this will come into effect beginning on July 1.

A New Dawn for Environmental and Health Services

The two newly-formed organizations to be birthed from the former DHEC are the South Carolina Department of Environmental Services (SCDES) and the South Carolina Department of Public Health (DPH). This structural rearrangement is in full compliance with state laws and stems from the need to streamline operations towards the conservation of the environment and provision of public health services, respectively.

Essential Functions of the New Agencies

The SCDES will seamlessly assume the environmental responsibilities formerly managed by the DHEC. The new agency will govern areas such as air quality, coastal management, land & waste management, and water, along with regional and laboratory services. Thus, SCDES continues the previous structures, showing commitment to preserving the environment for future generations of South Carolinians.

Meanwhile, the DPH, responsible for public health services, will contain two core divisions – Health Promotion and Services, and Healthcare Quality. Despite the new structuring, the department ensures that access to services such as birth certificates issuance and immunization requests remains uninterrupted.

The Vision for a Healthier South Carolina

Interim Director of the DPH and previous Director of the DHEC, Dr. Edward Simmer, expressed his optimism about the future of the agencies and their impact on South Carolina citizens. He said, “Our name may change, but our commitment to serving and improving the lives of everyone in South Carolina is stronger than ever. DPH will build on DHEC’s legacy, continuously innovating to achieve best practices that help improve our state’s overall health rankings to achieve our goal of becoming the healthiest state in our nation.”

Changes for Other State Programs

In addition to the split, the DHEC also announced the transition of the department’s current retail food program and the milk and dairy lab to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. This transition aims to optimize the management of food safety and quality across the state.

South Carolina's DHEC to be Divided into Two Agencies: Department of Environmental Services and Department of Public Health Effective From July 1 Spartanburg SC

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