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Education and Outreach Services

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 around 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 for more information on TABFTE.
DHEC provides ozone forecasts for six 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 community.
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.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold

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.


Model Ordinances & Sustainable Development Resource Tools

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.


For more information please contact the Bureau of Air Quality at (803) 898-4123 or by email.