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Environmental Quality Control (EQC)

Office of Criminal Investigations

The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) was founded in 1985 and has been tasked with the criminal enforcement of significant and egregious violations of State environmental laws that directly impact the environment and well-being of the citizens of South Carolina.

OCI is primarily responsible for investigating grossly negligent, willful, and knowing violations of State and Federal environmental laws and does not investigate accidental or mistaken violations.  Our investigations generally involve criminal violations of the Hazardous Waste Management Act, Pollution Control Act, Solid Waste Policy and Management Act, State Safe Drinking Water Act, Infectious Waste Management Act, and other general and related crimes.

Environmental Crime is not only a property crime; it can also be an economic crime.  Frequently, other crimes are uncovered during the investigation of environmental crimes, such as complex conspiracies, fraudulent schemes and falsification of documents.   OCI works closely with State and Federal prosecutors to bring those responsible for all of these crimes to justice.

Investigators assigned to OCI are certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as Class 1 Police Officers with statewide jurisdiction to conduct investigations, carry firearms, make arrests and execute and serve search warrants in an effort to gather evidence of these crimes.

Specialized skills and training for members of this unit include:

  • Certified Hazardous Materials Technicians
  • Advanced Environmental Crime Investigations and Forensics Training
  • Advanced Interviewing Training
  • Computer Forensics
  • Crime Scene Management
  • Specialized Surveillance Technician Training
  • Accredited SC Criminal Justice Academy Instructors and Firearms Instructors


Cases assigned to OCI come from within the Department (internal referrals) or from other law enforcement agencies.  If you believe a violation of law has occurred that requires a criminal investigation, please contact your local SC DHEC EQC Regional Office.