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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Department of Health and Environmental Control is taking several steps it says will simplify getting health and environmental permits.



DHEC said Thursday it will create a panel of specialists in permit areas ranging from air to solid waste to health care that can help businesses navigate the permit process,



The agency is creating a Permit Central website that will ask questions to help determine the best steps to take to get permits. The site will also have a place where people can check on the status of their permit applications.



DHEC also will use three of its seven board members to hear expedited appeals.



Department Director Catherine Templeton says the effort shows the agency can protect public health and the environment while also running government like a business.

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