Senators on a key committee unanimously forwarded the nomination of the woman tapped to be South Carolina’s next environmental chief, a marked contrast to the last two nominees for that position.
The Senate Medical Affairs Committee on Thursday advanced the nomination of former Duke Energy executive Catherine Heigel as the next director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Heigel was chosen by the agency’s board last month (the board members are appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley) to lead the massive state agency responsible for regulating public health and environmental issues.
“As the director of DHEC, I’m going to be committed to promoting four key principles,” she told the committee Thursday. “Transparency, efficiency, fairness, and certainty. I’ve been in the business community. I certainly understand what regulatory uncertainty does to business and how it works against efficiency.”
Heigel currently works as a general counsel for the accounting firm Elliott Davis Decosimo in Greenville. Prior to that she spent 11 years at Duke Energy, including serving as president of the company’s South Carolina operations from 2010 until 2012. She also serves on the state board of the conservation group Nature Conservancy and on the board of state-owned utility Santee Cooper.