DHEC Restructuring

Act 60, formerly Senate Bill 399 (S.399)
Updated: May 14, 2024

Under state law, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is becoming two separate agencies on July 1, 2024. The two new agencies will be the South Carolina Department of Environmental Services (SCDES) and South Carolina Department of Public Health (DPH). As part of this change:

These changes should not result in any gaps in services to the people of South Carolina.

DHEC Restructuring

What is DHEC’s Role?

During this time of transition, the top priority at DHEC remains the people of our state and to continue to implement core public health functions and mission critical environmental services with which we have been tasked by the General Assembly. 

This includes working with the South Carolina Department of Administration (DoA) and our sister agencies, partners, and team of talented and dedicated employees to make absolutely sure that no one, including those we serve and our staff, “falls between the cracks," and that we continue to provide outstanding services to every South Carolinian without interruption during the transition.

Throughout this process we will be sharing updates with our staff and stakeholders as we work with DoA and others to identify and implement priority tasks needed to support the successful transition.

How Will the New Agencies Be Structured?

The environmental roles and responsibilities of SCDES will continue as currently structured in Air Quality, Coastal Management, Land & Waste Management and Water, and Regional and Laboratory Services. Two new programs from the SC Department of Natural Resources will be housed in Water.

The work of DPH will be implemented by its talented and dedicated team of employees who will serve within one of the agency’s three core divisions:

Health Promotion and Services

Promotes community health and well-being by protecting people from disease, illness and injury, as well as providing access to quality care.

Healthcare Quality

Enhances patient safety and the quality of care by leading efforts to make health care in South Carolina safer, more accessible, affordable, equitable and of higher quality.


Provides the agency’s program areas and teams with the necessary support to ensure the successful accomplishment of its mission and vision.

We encourage individuals to review DPH’s proposed July 1, 2024, organizational structure.

How Will Restructuring Affect Me?

For the Public

You will continue to receive outstanding services without interruption during and after the transition. On July 1, 2024, the DHEC website will guide you to the appropriate agency website for general information and services.


There will be no changes to our physical locations by July 1, 2024. If moves occur later, SCDES and DPH will give advance notice. Examples include:

  • Our state’s Vital Records office which issues birth and death certificates, marriage certificates and divorce reports, will remain at 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201 for the time being. In addition, our county Vital Records office locations will remain at their current locations.
  • Our local environmental offices and public health clinics/departments will remain at their current locations after the transition. If moves occur later, SCDES and DPH will give advance notice.
  • Our public health and environmental laboratory will remain at its current location, 8231 Parklane Road Columbia, SC 29223.

DHEC Name and Logo

After July 1, 2024, you may continue to see the DHEC name and logo. They may appear on exterior building signage or in local news programs. Branding for the two new agencies is underway but will take time to roll out completely.

For the Regulated Community

All DHEC staff will move to one of the new agencies or to the Department of Agriculture. This means the staff you work with at DHEC now will likely be the same staff you will work with at the other agencies in the future.

Appeals of Department Decisions

Beginning July 1, 2024, final decisions of SCDES and DPH may be appealed to the Administrative Law Court pursuant to applicable law.

Environmental Permittees

Environmental permits that DHEC issued before July 1, 2024, will continue to be valid after this date. SCDES will update permits and certifications at the time of renewal or modification. Any environmental permits or certifications issued July 1, 2024, or later will be issued from SCDES.

Health Care Facilities and Certified Health Care Providers

Licenses for health care facilities and certificates that DHEC issued before July 1, 2024, will continue to be valid after this date. DPH will update licenses and certifications at the time of renewal. Any new licenses or certifications issued on or after July 1, 2024, will contain the DPH agency name and logo.

Regulations and Orders

Existing regulations will remain in effect and changes to reflect the reorganization will be promulgated as amendments after July 1, 2024. Such changes will include the name change from DHEC to SCDES or DPH and references to the DHEC Board. Existing orders will remain in effect.

Retail Food Establishments

As part of this transition, DHEC’s current retail food program and milk and dairy lab will merge with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture effective July 1, 2024.

Who Should I Contact If I Have Questions?

If, after reading this page, you have questions about how restructuring may affect you, your business or your loved one, please contact Constituent Services.


DHEC Restructuring