Environmental Regulatory Assistance (COVID-19)

DHEC continues to work with federal, state and local partners as it investigates COVID-19 cases in South Carolina. While we remain committed to protecting the safety and health of the public during this national and state emergency, DHEC's Environmental Affairs staff have also been focused on actions we can take to assist our business partners during this unprecedented time of impact and uncertainty.

Regulated entities should remain diligent in taking safe best efforts to maintain compliance. However, in the event that non-compliance is unavoidable directly due to impact from COVID-19 and/or related legal restrictions (federal/state/local declarations or orders), we are prepared to address such issues.

Requests for regulatory relief consideration due to the COVID-19 should be directed to environmentalcompliance@dhec.sc.gov. A staff member with the appropriate program area will follow up with you no later than the end of the next business day. 


Federal Guidance

DHEC appreciates EPA’s effort to provide some assurance to the regulated community during an unprecedented and uncertain time. EPA’s clarity regarding unavoidable and inevitable compliance issues is consistent with what DHEC believes is the right thing to do. DHEC will provide guidance and assurance that is consistent with EPA’s, while offering further relief from state obligations whenever possible.

COVID-19 Implications for EPA's Enforcement Assurance Program

Waste Management & COVID-19

DHEC's Bureau of Land & Waste Management and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not recommended any special handling of infectious waste associated with the COVID-19 virus at this time.

Retail Food Establishments & COVID-19

As part of Governor McMaster's accelerateSC taskforce, SCRLA has provided guidance to assist restaurants as they safely re-open. DHEC, in conjunction with SCRLA, is developing a toolkit to assist restaurants and the public with successful re-opening in response to COVID-19. DHEC is continuing to encourage all retail food service establishments to be vigilant by emphasizing employee health, good hygiene and sanitation practices for your employees. While COVID-19 is not spread by food, continued action should be taken to prevent the person to person spread of COVID-19 from an infected person to co-workers and/or customers.

Water Regulatory Relief
  • The deadline to submit DMRs to ePermitting has extended from April 2020 to May 31, 2020. Permittees may submit by paper or by using the ePermitting option.
  • Project Questionnaires for State Revolving Fund (SRF) consideration for State Fiscal Year 2021 will be accepted until April, 24, 2020
  • The due dates for NPDES/ND wastewater permit-required testing and reports (including renewal applications) that fall from March 1, 2020 to May 30, 2020 have been extended to May 31, 2020. 
  • Signed wastewater forms can be submitted via email (followed-up by a hard copy with a wet-ink signature) until the facility is set up to submit via ePermitting. (Note deadline of May 31, 2020 to be set up in ePermitting.)
  • Signed ePermitting Certifier Agreements for NPDES/ND facilities can be submitted via email (followed-up by a hard copy with a wet-ink signature).
  • The Stormwater Permitting Program is allowing for email submittals of NOIs for coverage under the NPDES Construction General Permit
  • The deadline for Small MS4s to submit their annual reports has been extended until June 1, 2020. 
Water Users & COVID-19

In order to provide South Carolinians with ongoing and current information regarding the safety of drinking water and recreational waters and the sanitation of wastewaters, DHEC's Bureau of Water has created a webpage of guidance for water users - (drinking water, wastewater, swimming pools).

 

Additional Resources

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