Programs & Partnerships
We have developed different programs and established partnerships to reach many different groups of South Carolina
citizens. We use these programs and partnerships to raise awareness, encourage behavioral
changes, and identify sample policies and ordinances to help improve air quality.
Bureau of Air Quality Programs
The Spare the Air Awards
is an annual program sponsored
by the Bureau of Air Quality to recognize innovative programs, projects, and individuals
behind the scenes who continually go above and beyond the call of duty in protecting
the environment. These environmental leaders represent workplaces, communities,
schools, local governments and individuals who demonstrate their commitment to improve
air quality. Contact us
for more information on the Spare the Air Awards.
Get your local school to participate in Breathe
Better (B2), an anti-idling/clean air campaign
. This program
helps reduce vehicle idling that frequently occurs during student drop-off and pick-up.
This program also demonstrates how to reduce air pollution by planting trees and
gardens around schools and starting recycling programs.
Many schools in South Carolina
already participate in the program and we
look forward to partnering with many more schools soon! Contact us
for more information or
if you are interested in starting a B2
program at your school.
During the months of March and April each year, local area sponsors and DHEC organize
several Lawn Mower Exchanges
the state. Citizens can donate their gas-powered lawn mower in exchange for a new
electric or reel-style lawn mower. Contact us
for more information or if you are interested
in participating in a lawn mower exchange.
Take a Break from
the Exhaust (TABFTE)
is a computer program that tracks voluntary actions
employees take to reduce air pollution. Employees are awarded points for reducing
the amount of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) during the work week by carpooling, staying
in the office for lunch, telecommuting, and using mass transit. TABFTE also provides
ground-level ozone forecasts April 1st
– September 30th
. Contact us
more information on TABFTE.
DHEC provides ozone forecasts
areas of South Carolina: Upstate, Central Midlands, Central Savannah River, Pee
Dee, Catawba, and Trident. This service is provided to inform the public about the
effects of ground-level ozone and help the public make healthy decisions about outdoor
activities. Contact us
for more information on the ozone forecast.
Driving a car is likely a person's single most polluting daily activity. With You Hold the Key, SC!
, you can do your part to help
reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Find a way for reducing your
vehicle miles traveled (VMT) that works best for you, your school, workplace, or
In South Carolina, people often burn debris in open fires or outdoor containers.
Because people don't control the fires with specially-designed equipment, open burning
generates smoke that can pollute the air and cause health problems. Learn about
alternative ways to dispose of waste.
Lexington County Spare the Air Calendar Contest
To increase awareness of air quality issues in South Carolina, Lexington County, in partnership
with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the S.C. Department of Education
held a Spare the Air Calendar Contest. The contest was open to Lexington County public, private
and home school students in the 5th-7th grade. Students were challenged to creatively illustrate
activities that they can adopt in their daily lives that will help keep the air we breathe clean!
The Federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) has been established to reduce
diesel emissions. Through grants, DERA provides funding for retrofitting and repowering
existing diesel engines. It also raises awareness of the harmful effects of
mobile source pollution, one of the largest contributors to air pollution.
DHEC understands that indoor air quality is a concern. Mold is one of the biggest indoor air quality health concerns. But, DHEC cannot test or inspect indoor air. DHEC does not have any state or federal authority to address indoor air quality. The only exception is the control of asbestos.
To learn about radon gas indoors, visit DHEC's Radon webpage.
To learn more about indoor air, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Indoor Air Quality webpage.
If you'd like expert advice or help with indoor air issues, contact a mold/mildew service or an environmental consultant. You can locate these resources by visiting the yellow pages.
These documents provide suggestions to local governments about actions they might
take to implement the goals and principles associated with sustainable development.
The idea is to give elected officials and local government staff a starting point
for addressing the issues that confront their communities and our state.