DHEC's COMMUNITY STAR is an award program that 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 recipients will be announced at DHEC's annual Environmental Assistance Conference.
COMMUNITY STAR Categories:
Business Star: Awarded to a business that has a strong community presence, a proven track record of environmental excellence and innovative solutions to community concerns. The business has a cooperative relationship with and is recognized as a leader by, the surrounding community.
Collaborative Star: Awarded to a group that is any combination of businesses, governments, community groups, and/or nonprofit conservation groups. The group is working to resolve environmental issues within a particular community or geographical area and can include air, land, or water resources.
Rising Star: Awarded to a business, community organization, collaborative partnership and/or individual that is emerging as a leader and is in the early stages of developing community strategies and awareness.
Nominations for COMMUNITY STAR
You can either be nominated or self-apply by completing and submitting the nomination form between June 1 and August 1 of each year.
Forms will be reviewed based on a weighted point scale. References from the letter of support will be contacted and interviewed based on established criteria. Recent compliance will be evaluated for potential impact to the environment or the community. Members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) will be given extra points in the business star category.
Benefits of being selected as a COMMUNITY STAR
- Featured on DHEC's website, detailing the work and ongoing initiatives within the community
- Recognition through blog posts, social media posts, and press releases
- Inclusion on list of best practices
- Award presentation at the Environmental Assistance Conference
- Free exhibit table and panel discussion at the following year's Environmental Assistance Conference to showcase your efforts
What is a...
Community - a group of people living, working, or assembling in an area of close proximity to one another and/or neighbors of a business or industry sharing a common identity, interests, and goals.
Community Partner - any local, state, national, public, community-based, private or academic group that works within the community.
Community Organization - any combination of community members, government organizations, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and other stakeholders working collaboratively to address environmental and health-related challenges within their community.
COMMUNITY STAR Contact:
2022 COMMUNITY STAR Award Winner
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation was presented with DHEC’s Community Star award for her advocacy efforts centered on environmental justice, environmental education and community resiliency. From left to right are Daniel Blackman, EPA Region 4 administrator; Queen Quet; and Myra Reece, director of DHEC Environmental Affairs.