Air Quality - Fees

The Department bases annual air quality fees on the tons of air emissions generated by a facility. Note that DHEC does not assess fees for air permit applications, renewals, or revisions, except for fees assessed for the voluntary expedited permitting program.

To determine a facility's annual fee, DHEC multiplies the billable pollutant emissions generated by a facility by the yearly fee rate (see the table below). As specified in Federal and State regulations, the fee rate is adjusted each year based on the Consumer Price Index.  
 

Air Fee Rate
Fiscal Year (July 1 – June 30) Fee Rate (cost/ ton billable emissions)
2020 $51.06
2019 $49.85
2018 $48.88
2017 $48.49

Any facility that holds an active air permit on July 1 must pay these annual air quality fees.  If a facility is permanently closed and no longer requires an air permit, the facility must inform DHEC of the closure prior to July 1. Otherwise, the facility will be assessed air quality fees for the entire fiscal year period (July 1 - June 30).  A facility that has closed but chooses to maintain its permit is still subject to fees. Facilities with emissions less than one ton are assessed a minimum fee based on one ton of emissions.


Title V Sources


For Title V sources, fees are based on actual emissions from the facility’s emissions inventory report.  The emission inventory accounts for all emissions from a facility by using various methodologies, such as stack test data, established emission factors, equipment manufacturers' data, production rates, etc.  DHEC's Emissions Inventory Section reviews the information submitted by a facility to ensure that the facility has included all sources and used appropriate calculation methodologies.  DHEC has determined that emissions from the most recent staff-reviewed emission inventory report are representative of normal source operation and are used for billing.


All regulated pollutants, except carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide equivalents, are included in this billing determination. Pollutants that are Federal Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) or State Toxic Air Pollutants (TAPs) and also VOCs or particulate matter are only billed once, even though these pollutants may be tracked separately in the inventory.

In addition to the cost per ton fee rate above, Title V facilities must also pay a maintenance fee as follows:

Total Billable Emissions Maintenance Fee

< 10 tons

$500.00

10 - 50 tons

$1,000.00

> 50 - 100 tons

$2,000.00

> 100 - 250 tons

$3,500.00

> 250 - 1000 tons

$6,500.00

> 1000 tons

$10,000.00


The total annual fee for each Title V facility is comprised of the billable emissions at the cost per ton rate and the maintenance fee.


Conditional Major Sources


Conditional Major and General Conditional Major sources are not required to provide DHEC with emissions inventory data. Emissions for these sources are based on the facility’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories. Based on a review of the permits, DHEC uses the SIC code to assign the  average tons of emissions for each facility. The assigned tons of emissions are multiplied by the yearly fee rate to determine the annual fee.


Minor Sources


Minor and State Major sources are also not required to provide emission inventory data. Emissions from these sources are based on industry averages. Based on a review of the permits, Department staff have identified the industry average emissions and assigned them for each facility.  The assigned tons of emissions are multiplied by the yearly fee rate to determine the annual fee.


New Sources


New Title V sources lack the past emissions data needed to calculate total tonnage used for billing.  DHEC uses operating time and limits established in the Title V permit to pro-rate each billable pollutant until such time as actual emissions are calculated.  Similarly, the average tons are pro-rated for conditional major sources and minor sources when calculating their new source fees.
 

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