The application packet has been put together to supply the farmer with the information needed to apply for a permit and to help them understand the agricultural permitting program. It contains a copy of the agricultural regulations, applications for permits for different types of agricultural facilities, notice of intent forms, lists of Department contacts, and various information sheets on the program.
To get started, the farmer should contact the appropriate Environmental Quality Control (EQC) Regional Office and complete the request for a preliminary site inspection form. A list of the agricultural contacts for the EQC Regional Offices to determine who to contact is included in the application packet.
During the preliminary site inspection the Regional Office representative will go over the proposed facility and site with the farmer. They will generally discuss all aspects of the agricultural program. This will include the permit process, the inspection program, the compliance assistance and monitoring programs, and enforcement activities of the Department. This is the time for the farmer to get a thorough understanding of the agricultural program of the Department so questions should be asked if the farmer doesn't understand something. A flow chart of the complete permit process is included in the application packet.
During the preliminary site inspection the Notice of Intent Forms which are enclosed in the application will be explained to the farmer. Basically the farmer must have nearby property owners sign this form and then submit the forms to the Department as part of the application package.
The notice of intent forms are part of the overall public notice process used by the Department to advise a community of activities in their neighborhood. There is a summary sheet on the public notice requirements for the different type of agricultural facilities included in the application packet. Please refer to it or the agricultural regulations for information on this matter.
After the preliminary site inspection, the farmer should engage the services of a professional engineer registered in SC to prepare the animal facility management plan. The engineer will prepare the animal facility management plan to comply with the specific requirements of the regulations. Setbacks are a part of this process and the setbacks as required by the regulations are given on a summary sheet that is enclosed in the application packet. Please note that while the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service SC offices used to prepare these plans for a farmer, they decided in early November 2004 to no longer provide this service to the agricultural community in SC.
When the plan has been prepared, an application package will be submitted to DHEC using the appropriate application. Please see the application for the type of facility for the specific submittal requirements. An application fee and the first year's annual operating fee must be paid before a permit can be issued. Summary sheets on these fees are enclosed in the application packet. The fee regulations are not included in the application packet but are available upon request.