ePermitting Coming to South Carolina
Posted: July 3rd, 2019Author: All4 Staff
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is in the process of implementing an electronic system (i.e., ePermitting) for compliance and permitting actions for regulated facilities in South Carolina. Through this system, regulated facilities will be able to submit and amend various types of permit applications, compliance reports, and incident reports online. Furthermore, facilities will be able to check the status of their applications and reports, correspond with DHEC employees, receive and respond to public notice comments, and pay fees.
The system will be a one stop location for all environmental fields, including air, water and land, and will allow public access to facility information that previously had to be requested through DHEC. Currently, DHEC is in the development phase of the ePermitting system for several environmental programs, which are expected to become available for use in late 2019. These programs include stormwater, agriculture, infectious waste, dam safety, and ocean and coastal resource management (OCRM) fields. DHEC is also currently developing the air quality portion of the ePermitting tool. DHEC expects to begin internal testing of the program in early 2020 and hopes to release it externally in late 2020.
Although there will be a learning curve for facilities, consultants, and DHEC staff alike during the transition to a fully online system, there will be countless benefits that result as well. For instance, using ePermitting will greatly reduce the number of administratively incomplete forms submitted to DHEC. The online forms will ensure that required data is supplied in a valid format, which will reduce delays in permitting and approval from avoidable back and forth communication with the agency. Additionally, because everything will be stored online, it will be easy to view historical documents. There will not be lag time between when a consultant finishes preparing a report or application, and when the facility can view and submit it to DHEC. DHEC is aiming to have the ePermitting system be facilities’ and the public’s one stop for communication and information pertaining to compliance and permitting actions. Although there may be some bumps in the road ahead as we all figure out the new system, this will be a great step forward for consultants and facilities alike. If you have questions about how DHEC ePermitting might affect your facility, please contact us.