SC Pollution Control Act
The SC Pollution Control Act (PCA) is the basis of South Carolina’s water pollution control and water quality protection programs. It establishes the Department of Heath and Environmental Control (Department) as the state agency responsible for environmental matters. The law empowers the Department to hold hearings, promulgate regulations, require permits, conduct monitoring, and take enforcement actions among other things.
Section 48-1-100 of the PCA requires a permit from the Department before sewage or other waste may be discharged to the environment of the State. The law defines sewage to include animal waste and dead animals are included in the definition of other waste. Therefore, agricultural animal growing operations must by law receive permits for the handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of manure, litter (bedding material), and dead animals.
Section 48-1-110 of the PCA requires plans to be submitted and written approval granted by the Department before any disposal system may be built, operated, or modified. For agricultural facilities, the required plans are the animal facility management plans for handling, storing, treating (if necessary), and utilizing the manure generated at the facilities.
In summary, the PCA is the environmental law of South Carolina relating to water quality protection and it empowers the Department to conduct the water pollution control program through a wide range of activities such as permitting, inspections, compliance, monitoring, enforcement and public education. To meet the requirements of the PCA, the Department regulates a number of different activities and facilities. Agricultural facilities fall under the jurisdiction of the Department because of this law.
SC Environmental Protection Fund Act
The SC Environmental Protection Fund Act authorizes the Department to collect application and annual operating fees for any facility permitted under the SC Pollution Control Act. This law requires that fees for any program be identified in a regulation before they can assessed. Regulation 61-30 addresses fees for most environmental programs including the agricultural program. All fees collected under this law go to the Department for administering the specific program for which the fees were collected. Therefore, all fees for agricultural facilities are applied toward running the Department’s agricultural program.
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