SC governor chooses former lobbyist to head health agency

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has chosen a former lobbyist for Boeing to head the state's health and environmental agency.

McMaster said Wednesday that Mark Elam of Charleston will chair the board at the Department of Health and Environmental Control, one of the largest state agencies in South Carolina.

Elam replaces Allen Amsler as chairman. Amsler resigned in February after seven years on the board.

The nomination requires Senate approval.

DHEC oversees hospital expansions, issues birth certificates, considers pollution permits for industries, and tests water and air for contamination.

The governor's news release says McMaster is confident Elam can strike the balance between protecting the state's natural resources and allowing businesses to grow.

Elam was one of Boeing's chief lobbyists at the General Assembly from 2012 through last year.