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About Us

Who We Are

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is the state regulatory agency charged with promoting and protecting the state's public health and its land, air, coastal resources and water quality as authorized by federal and state law.

The agency has approximately 3,500 employees serving across the state whose work makes a difference in the lives of South Carolinians every day. The agency provides a wide range of resources and services that support a vision of healthy people living in healthy communities.


To improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians by protecting and promoting the health of the public and the environment.

  • Pursuing Excellence – We are steadfast in our commitment to the highest achievable standards of quality and professionalism in our pursuit of healthy people living in healthy communities.
  • Inspiring Innovation – We encourage and empower our teams to find creative solutions to promote and protect the health of the public and the environment.
  • Promoting Teamwork - We foster an inclusive and collaborative environment, valuing the diversity of thoughts, experience and expertise of every team member, our stakeholders, and our communities. 
  • Embracing Service – We embrace our responsibility to reliably serve our communities, our customers, and each other in a respectful manner, relying upon clear and uncompromised commitments to integrity, trust, dependability, and responsiveness. 
What We Do

If you've received a birth certificate in South Carolina, visited a state health department, recycled your cans and bottles here, eaten at a restaurant, breathed in the air, or swum in the state's waters – DHEC has touched your life.

Just a few of the DHEC's services include providing vital health care services, coordinating disease control, monitoring and regulating pollution, ensuring food safety, supporting healthy nutrition, responding to natural disasters, providing research and statistics on the state's health and environment, and much more.


DHEC is a state agency and its operations are overseen by the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control, which is appointed by the Governor. DHEC Director Catherine Heigel is the executive head of the agency and manages its day-to-day operations along with her leadership team.

A Brief History

The agency has a legacy of service in South Carolina that dates back to 1878 with the establishment of the state's first State Board of Health. DHEC was officially created by law in 1973 as the joint regulatory agency for both health and environment to best serve the people of South Carolina.

More than 150 years later, DHEC remains committed to service, innovation, excellence and collaboration that promotes the health of the people of South Carolina and protects the environment they live in. Read more