Online customer service tools that work like FAQs and dedicated teams to handle specific areas such as small business — those are the environmental permitting streamlines unveiled today by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Officials championed the “Permit Central” upgrade as a time and money saver.

“Government needs to run like a business, and that is exactly what we’ve done today,” said DHEC Commissioner Catherine Templeton.

DHEC decides permits for everything from hospital beds and industrial pollution to beach piers. The cumbersome process has been criticized even by advocates who push for tighter regulations.