SC Senate confirms leader of environmental agency

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The state’s public health and environmental control agency has a new leader.

The Senate voted 38-3 on Tuesday to confirm Catherine Templeton to lead the Department of Health and Environmental Control, following several days of a filibuster to block the vote.

Democratic Sen. Phil Leventis of Sumter argues the labor lawyer lacks the proper qualification to run one of the state’s largest agencies and that she needs to move to Columbia.

Templeton now runs the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. It has fewer than 400 employees compared to DHEC’s more than 3,600.

Templeton told senators at her hearing that DHEC needs a skilled manager, not a health or environmental specialist. She says she won’t uproot her small children from Mount Pleasant but will always be available.

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