New law bans phosphate-laden dishwasher detergent
A new S.C. law banning phosphate-laden dishwasher detergent is meant to dramatically reduce phosphates going down the drain.
Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law this week a measure banning the sale, use and distribution of household dishwasher detergent greater than 0.5 percent phosphorous. State law already limits phosphates in laundry detergents and other cleaners.
Experts say phosphates cause algae blooms that can use up oxygen in the water, killing fish and irritating the eyes, throat and skin of people on the water for recreation.
Supporters included both environmentalists and wastewater treatment plant operators. They say the ban is an easier, less expensive way to keep excess phosphorous out of waterways than leaving it to wastewater treatment plants.
The law allows stores to sell its stock as of July 1.
House approves suicide prevention bill
A bill requiring middle and high school teachers in South Carolina to get suicide prevention training has cleared the House.
The House approved 97-3 this week a measure requiring two hours of training that would count toward the 120 hours of training that teachers must acquire every five years.
Six states already have passed the law. It is named after Jason Flatt of Tennessee, who killed himself in 1997 at age 16. The Jason Foundation works to spread awareness about teen suicide and to promote teacher training.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death nationwide for those ages 10 to 24.
Foundation specialist Donna Finley has said it’s not about making teachers counselors, but making them aware of the warning signs and where to go for help.
Legislators approve ‘Benji’s Law’
The Legislature has given final approval to a bill setting new standards for miniature train rides following last year’s crash in Spartanburg that killed a 6-year-old boy and injured 28 others.
The House unanimously approved “Benji’s Law” this week. The Senate unanimously approved it last June. The measure soon will head to the governor’s desk.
It is named for Benji Easler, who was killed last March when the children’s ride at Cleveland Park derailed into a ditch. Investigators blamed the crash on excessive speed. The train was going 22 mph, nearly three times what was recommended.
The bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, requires such rides to have a speedometer and a device that regulates its speed below the recommended maximum. Annual inspections must include a speed test.