Annual Operating Fees for Agricultural Permits
Since 1987, the South Carolina General Assembly has authorized DHEC to assess annual environmental operating permit fees for certain state permits. Changes to the fee regulation, State Regulation 61-30, went into effect on June 26, 1998 which include annual operating fees for agricultural facilities (animal growing operations). The fee amount is based on the type of animal operation and either size of facility or type of manure handling. If a state permit is valid on July 1 of a year but not being used, the fee still applies for that year. In accordance with regulation R.61-30, the following fees apply:
|Size of Facility|
Small (500,000 lbs or less of production)
Large with over 500,000 lbs but less than 1,000,000 lbs of production
Large with 1,000,000 lbs or more of production
Other Animal Facilities
|Type of Manure Handling|
Wet Operations (Lagoons)
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
In addition to the above state operating fees if an animal operation is a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), it must also have coverage under the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Porgram which the Department administers in SC on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Department has issued a general permit for CAFOs and the annual fee for coverage under this permit is $100.
Fee Assessment and Closed Facilities
Fees are assessed on non-operational facilities until the permit is canceled. Inspection for closure by DHEC personnel does not automatically cancel a permit. Cancellation of a permit does not dismiss outstanding permit fees. Any facility with an active operating permit on July 1 is subject to the fee for the state Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30) with no proration of fees.
It is a permittee's responsibility to advise DHEC in writing of any change or cancellation of a permit. If possible, for facilities that close toward the end of the Fiscal Year, it is recommended that requests for cancellation be submitted to the Department at least ninety (90) days prior to July 1. This will ensure the permit is canceled before July 1 so the facility will not be billed the next Fiscal Year for an active permit on a facility that has closed. To cancel a permit, notify DHEC at the following address:
SC DHEC, Bureau of Water
Agricultural & Storm Water Section
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Invoices are due upon receipt and past due thirty days from the date of the invoice. Please note that the fee regulation allows DHEC to withhold permit issuance (future construction permit) for a permittee with past due fees in programs covered by the fee regulation. The regulation also allows for the assessment of penalties for delinquent accounts. Prompt attention to an invoice when it is received will be appreciated.
Questions regarding the annual operating fees can be directed to the Agricultural & Storm Water Section at the above address. You may also call us at telephone number (803) 898-4300 (Bureau of Water's main switch board number). When you call, please tell the Bureau switch board operator that you are calling about the annual operating fees for agricultural operations and the call will be directed to the appropriate person.