How Does S.C. DHEC Develop Regulations?
- DHEC decides on a regulatory change following discussions with the public, a change in State or Federal law requirements, internal meetings, or other events that make a change necessary.
- DHEC publishes a Notice of Drafting in the State Register (requires subscription, documents also posted at the S.C. DHEC website) that describes the proposed regulation and starts a 30-day comment period.
- If DHEC receives many comments, it may hold a stakeholder meeting to discuss the proposed changes.
- At a meeting of the Board of Health and Environmental Control held after the 30-day comment period ends, DHEC requests that the Board grant approval to publish a Notice of Proposed Regulation in the State Register and may request holding a Staff-Led Informational Forum (SIF) on the proposed regulation change.
- If the Board approves the request, DHEC publishes the Notice of Proposed Regulation in the State Register . This Notice includes the full text of the proposed regulation and a detailed explanation of each change. The Notice also announces the date of a SIF and a Public Hearing for the proposed regulatory change, and starts a second 30-day comment period on the proposed regulatory change.
- DHEC staff holds the SIF for the proposed regulation. The SIF is open to the public, and is an opportunity for the public to comment and ask questions about the proposed regulation.
- At a second Board Meeting, the Board holds a Public Hearing on the proposed regulation. The Public Hearing is open to the public, and the public is invited to comment. A court reporter records a transcript of this hearing to include in the public record.
- If the Board approves the proposed regulatory change, and Legislative approval is not required, DHEC publishes a Notice of Final Regulation in the State Register . This Notice includes a full text of the regulatory change. Legislative approval is not required when State regulatory changes are made to comply with a Federal requirement.
- The new regulation change becomes effective on publication of the Notice of Final Regulation in the State Register . After publication, DHEC archives documents involved in the regulatory change, and makes them available for public review through the S.C. DHEC Freedom of Information Office .
- If the Board approves the proposed regulatory change and the change requires Legislative review , DHEC will submit the regulatory change to the South Carolina General Assembly for approval. The Legislature has 120 days to address the regulatory change. The 120-day period does not begin until the General Assembly is in session. Following Legislative approval, DHEC will publish the Notice of Final Regulation in the next State Register following approval. The regulation-development process can take from six months to more than a year, and other time limits may apply.
How the Public Can Participate
- Notice of Drafting - Published in the State Register.
- Initial Board Approval - Public may attend Board Meeting.
- Notice of Proposed Regulation - Thirty day comment period. Public may submit written comments during this time.
- Staff-Led Informational Forum - Public may attend Staff Informational Forum. Comments made or submitted during the SIF will be incorporated into public record.
- Public Hearing before Board - Public may speak at Public Hearing.
- Legislative Approval - Public may contact their State Senator or Representative and may testify before the subcommittees considering the regulation.