NPDES Permitting Fees

August 14, 2019 - Stakeholder Informational Session

Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

NPDES Fee Regulations Presentation - August 14, 2019

Application Fees. There are no application fees for NPDES Permits. However, there are annual operating fees. For new (first time) permits, the first year's fee must be paid in full before the permit can be issued. The first year's fee is not prorated.

Annual Fees. SC Regulation R.61-30, Environmental Protection Fees, allows the Bureau to charge an annual fee for persons holding a valid NPDES permit on July 1 of each year. This annual operating fee is collected by DHEC through direct billing, usually in early fall of each year. For new NPDES permits, the fee is paid up front, without consideration for prorating the bill, in accordance with R.61-30. The annual operating fees are as follows:

  • Facilities with five or less outfall pipes:

    Flow (gpd) *

    Greater than 4,999,999 $2,660
    2,000,000 to 4,999,999 $2,130
    1,000,000 to 1,999,999 $1,600
    500,000 to 999,999 $1,330
    100,000 to 499,999 $1,065
    50,000 to 99,999 $800
    0 to 49,999 $530

    * For domestic facilities, flow is based on permit flow. For industrial facilities, flow is based on actual maximum flow (i.e., greatest daily max. flow - cumulative of all pipes) during the previous fiscal year.

  • Facilities with greater than five outfall pipes:

    A base charge of $1,600, plus $800/pipe for the number of pipes greater than five. The fee is not a function of flow.

    For example, a facility with eight pipes means the cost would be: $1,600 + 3($800) = $4,000

  • Facilities/Areas covered by a general permit:

    The cost is a flat charge of $100, regardless of the facility size or number of discharge pipes. The exception is for construction stormwater NPDES general permits which has a $125 one-time fee paid at the time of permit application.

Fee Administration. Once an NPDES permit is issued, fees are assessed annually to persons who hold effective permits on July 1st of each year. This includes non-operational facilities even if the facility has not been built and continues until the permit is canceled. Therefore, any facility with an active operating permit on July 1st is subject to the fee for the state Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30) with no proration of fees.

On existing facilities, inspection for closure by DHEC personnel does not automatically cancel a permit. Cancellation of a permit does not dismiss outstanding permit fees. It is a permittee's responsibility to advise DHEC in writing of any change and/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 Bureau 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.

For more information on NPDES permit cancellations, please visit our NPDES WEB page on "Cancellations and Terminations" .