4 The record articles

SC DHEC’s ePermitting Program: What You Need to Know

Posted: September 5th, 2023

Authors: Andrew M. 

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) has begun the transition of the Bureau of Air Quality’s (BAQ) regulatory functions like compliance reporting and air permitting to an entirely online format called ePermitting. The air quality program joins many other programs already in place like Water Quality and Stormwater. The switch to a new system naturally comes with many questions, and you can find answers to some of these questions and more information below.

ePermitting is SC DHEC’s new system incorporating the full lifecycle of BAQ’s regulatory functions into one online location. The transition to ePermitting was done to make communication and interactions between SC DHEC, its customers, and the general public more efficient. As of July 10, 2023, all information pertaining to BAQ programs may be submitted electronically using ePermitting. Facilities with an air permit should have received an email from SC DHEC announcing use of the online system and providing a verification code to associate the user with a specific site. After redeeming the verification code, that user account will have access to view permitting and compliance history and submit forms and reports. Additional users can then be invited to manage the data for that site.

SC DHEC is allowing a transition period for submittal of air compliance reports and air permit applications. For example, periodic reports due in July and August 2023 may still be submitted in hard copy format. Users should take this time to get set up and familiar with the system in order for periodic reports and air permit applications to be submitted electronically by January 2024.

BAQ program’s key functionalities are supported through ePermitting. Everything related to submitting applications, renewals, modifications, or other service requests can be found on ePermitting.  Users can also generate any necessary permit documents through the platform or find applicable permitting information such as permit conditions or reporting schedules. Application fees may also be paid through ePermitting, either using a credit card or an electronic check.

To electronically submit forms and schedules that require a signature using ePermitting, you must submit an ePermitting Certifier Agreement. For air construction permit applications, note that the facility responsible official as well as the professional engineer sealing the application must each submit a certifier agreement to be properly set up in the system. The first step is to request Certifier Rights in the Authorized Users section of ePermitting; you must have the role of Editor or Administrator for a site to request Certifier Rights. Once Certifier Rights are requested, your role in ePermitting will be updated to Administrator (Certifier Status Pending). The next step is to download and fill out the ePermitting Certifier Agreement. Note that the Certifier Agreement requires wet ink signatures from the individual requesting authorization to electronically submit forms and schedules using ePermitting as well as the Site Administrator for the site. The completed Certifier Agreement must be mailed to the Certifier Agreement Administrator. Once the Certifier Agreement has been processed and approved, your status will be updated to Administrator (Certifier Status Approved). The approval process is expected to take 5-7 business days to complete. Be aware that the ePermitting Certifier Agreement is used by multiple DHEC programs and does not act as blanket approval. Also, a separate Certifier Agreement is required for each facility if you are acting as a certifier for multiple sites.

There is a lot to learn and keep up with about ePermitting. If you want to find more resources or better understand how to use the system, you can utilize SC DHEC’s ePermitting Training hub here. PowerPoint presentations guiding users through getting started with ePermitting as well as functions like submitting a permit renewal can be found on the Training hub. A YouTube ePermitting playlist has also been made with videos familiarizing users with the platform. If you need training for specific elements of ePermitting like Asbestos or Septic Tanks, the training hub also contains links to trainings catered to individual programs.

Lastly, you might be wondering what other specific programs are a part of ePermitting. The programs currently being phased into the system include:

  • Agriculture
  • Air Quality
  • Asbestos
  • Coastal Zone Consistency
  • Critical Area Permitting
  • Dam Safety
  • Environmental Complaints
  • Environmental Response
  • Groundwater Withdrawal
  • Infectious Waste
  • Mining and Reclamation
  • Navigable Waters/Water Quality Certification
  • Onsite Wastewater
  • Private Wells
  • Shellfish
  • Site Assessment, Remediation & Revitalization
  • Solid Waste
  • Stormwater
  • Surface Water Withdrawal
  • Tanning
  • Underground Injection Control
  • Underground Storage Tanks
  • Wastewater

ALL4 can help your facility with getting set up in the system, making submittals, and other ePermitting needs. For any assistance or further questions regarding ePermitting, reach out via email to A.J. Golding at agolding@all4inc.com or Andrew Mayo at amayo@all4inc.com.

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