COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has unveiled Permit Central, a new initiative that simplifies the process for obtaining health and environmental permits, the agency announced today.
“Anyone who has ever run or owned a small business knows just how hard it can be, and today South Carolina has taken steps to help reduce this burden,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “It’s a great day in South Carolina when we can save our businesses time because time is money.”
“Government needs to run like a business, and that is exactly what we’ve done today,” said DHEC Director Catherine Templeton. “We talked to our customers and created a way to help. Permit Central enables us to work proactively with the private citizens and business owners who need permits. Safeguarding public health and the environment doesn’t mean hiding the ball. We will work through Permit Central to meet people where they are and help them understand the process.”
Permit Central consists of a series of customer service tools that provide applicants with information about permits in plain, helpful language. The Permit Central initiative comprises:
- The Permit Central Team – a panel of permitting specialists with expertise ranging from air to solid waste to healthcare. This team will talk with applicants about business plans and help determine necessary approvals.
- The Small Business Team – a specially trained team equipped to understand the unique challenges faced by small businesses.
- The Permit Central website – an interactive site that offers topical questions about business activities that might require permits. The site produces a report based on the responses that applicants can use to plan. Also, the website will include time frame estimates, tips for expediting the permitting process, application forms, and a database that allows customers to check the status of their application.
- A board review committee – a panel consisting of three of seven members of the S.C. Board of Health and Environmental Control to expedite the review process for challenges to agency actions. Although state law requires the board to decide whether to hear formal disagreements within 60 calendar days, this rotating panel will work to shorten the appeals process concerning the issuance, denial, renewal, suspension or revocation of permits.
To learn more about Permit Central or to use its interactive features, visithttp://www.scdhec.gov/environment/admin/permit/.