Erosion and Sediment Control

  

  

The Water and Science Administration (WSA) is the regulatory agency responsible for managing the State’s water resources. Within WSA, the Sediment, Stormwater, and Dam Safety Program oversees state programs and administers permits that direct local counties, cities, and towns to protect waters from pollution created by stormwater runoff. The erosion and sediment control programs regulate new construction activities to minimize suspended sediment (soil particles carried by water) leaving construction sites and entering local waterways. 

When rainfall reaches exposed soil, suspended sediment may be transported and deposited in streams at a level beyond natural processes. This can reduce stream channel capacity which can lead to additional erosion and flooding downstream. Sediment transported by stormwater can negatively impact water quality by blocking sunlight, inhibiting plant growth, damaging habitat for aquatic animals, and carrying nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that act as pollutants when present in excessive amounts. 

Erosion and sediment control practices may be used to manage stormwater runoff and minimize its potential for pollution. The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.17.01 provides the Administration with the responsibility to establish policies, procedures, standards, and criteria relating to erosion and sediment control. Under this authority, the Administration requires erosion and sediment control plans to be reviewed and approved for earth moving activity that disturbs 5,000 square feet or more of land area or 100 cubic yards or more of soil. However, the Department may authorize (delegate) local governments to administer erosion and sediment control programs to inspect and enforce active construction in their jurisdictions. Local programs may establish stricter requirements than the State’s as needed. For more information on the history of sediment and erosion control regulations in Maryland, click here.

Anyone planning construction activity or wishing to submit a construction-related complaint should first consult with their local jurisdiction. 

Please see this list of delegated jurisdictions to check if you are in an area where erosion and sediment control enforcement authority has been delegated by the Department. If your area is not on this list, please contact the Department’s Compliance Program for assistance with submitting a construction-related complaint. For information on planning construction projects disturbing one or more acres, please contact the Wastewater Permits Program for information on theGeneral Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity. This requirement is in addition to local erosion and sediment control plan approval processes and any local codes for grading and building, so the Department strongly recommends you also contact your local jurisdiction. Finally, if you are performing construction on a State or Federal property, please visit the Department’s Plan Review division for more information. 

Erosion and sediment control plans are developed to protect water resources from sediment pollution carried by runoff associated with active land development and redevelopment activities. By retaining soil on site, sediment and nutrients are prevented from running off disturbed area and polluting streams and other surface waters. Maintaining quality runoff from construction activities is critical to Maryland’s effort to reduce the levels of nutrients and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay. Click hereto learn more about Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan.

​​Visit the tabs below for information and resources relevant to each audience:

Homeowners and Residents

 

Stabilization of Disturbed Land during Construction Activities Fact Sheet​

Are ​​you planning construction on your property? This fact sheet introduces homeowners to some of the basic requirements that must be met.

Delegated Authority Contact Information

Do you have a question or complaint? Please check this list for the number to call in your jurisdiction. If your jurisdiction is not listed, please contact the Departments Compliance Program.

Agricultural Complaints​

Do you have a complaint about an issue that you think is related to agriculture? This document from the Maryland Department of Agriculture provides information on who to call.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Property Owners and Residents​

This document provides answers to questions frequently asked by property owners. If the answer to your question is not included, please contact your local jurisdiction (see above). If you still need help, contact Pat Depkin at the Stormwater, Dam Safety, and Flood Management Division at 410-537-3553 or Pat.Depkin@Maryland.gov.

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Construction Industry

 

Maryland Responsible Person FAQ

This FAQ provides information on training and certification requirements for individuals acting as the “Responsible Person” for implementing and maintaining erosion and sediment controls as required by State law.

Maryland Responsible Person Certification Course

This is the landing page to take the RPC course or access certification records.

2011 Standards and Specifications for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control

These Standards provide minimum plan requirements and procedures/practices to help control the adverse impacts associated with soil erosion and sedimentation during construction.

Details from the 2011 Standards and Specifications

This page includes new and revised details for the various practices that are used in the development of erosion and sediment control plans.​

2017 Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations Update

These are the latest Statewide regulations related to erosion and sediment control for construction.

2015 Maryland Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations

These Standards provide minimum plan requirements and procedures to minimize the adverse impacts associated with soil erosion and sedimentation during timber harvesting/logging activities.

Specific Training and Certification in Soil Erosion and Sediment Control for Forest Harvest Operations

Click here for contact information regarding this training.

Agricultural Questions​

Do you have a question regarding sediment and erosion control on agricultural lands? This document from the Maryland Department of Agriculture provides information on who to call.

Delegated Authority Contact Info

Do you have a question about permits, approvals, or requirements in your jurisdiction? Please check this list for the number to call in your jurisdiction. If your area is not listed, please contact the Department’s Compliance Program.

Construction on State and Federal Properties

If you are performing construction on a State or Federal property, please visit the Department’s Plan Review division for more information.

Innovative Sediment Control Device Review Checklist

This Checklist is used to submit an application for the Department’s review of innovative or proprietary sediment control practices.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Construction Industry​

This document provides answers to questions frequently asked by individuals in the construction industry. If the answer to your questions is not included, please contact your local jurisdiction (see above). If you still need help, contact Pat Depkin at the Sediment, Stormwater, and Dam Safety Division at 410-537-3553 or Pat.Depkin@Maryland.gov.​

Delegated Local Enforcement Authories

 

The Department authorizes local governments to administer a program to inspect and enforce active construction in their jurisdiction. These programs are reviewed by the Department every two years to ensure they are conducted in accordance with State law and regulation including COMAR 26.17.01 and any updates. The below information is provided to assist delegated authorities in maintaining programs that comply with the latest regulations and guidance.

Each authority must adopt a local ordinance that establishes a process for review of proposed construction plans and enables them to inspect active construction and enforce requirements as necessary. The authority must maintain a Department approved list of major field modifications that require the approval of the local plan approval authority, typically a Soil Conservation District, and minor modifications that may be made in the field with the supervision of an inspector representing the delegated authority. All controls must conform to the standards and specifications outlined in the States 2011 manual. A standard plan for small development projects may also be developed. Through these efforts along with maintaining ongoing communication with the Department, delegated authorities ensure proper erosion and sediment control to protect waters throughout Maryland.

Delegation Criteria

This document includes the minimum standards that a local jurisdiction must meet prior to being granted delegation of erosion and sediment control enforcement authority.

Model Ordiance

This Model Ordinance may be used to draft a new or modified ordinance for the Department's approval in accordance with Maryland's sediment control laws and regulations (Environment Article, Title 4, Subtitle 1).

Model Standard Erosion and Sediment Control Plan

This is a model erosion and sediment control plan that may be used for activities with minor earth distrubances, such as single-family residences, small commercial and other similar building sites, minor maintenance grading, and minor utility construction.

2011 Maryland Standards and Specifications for Soil and Erosion Control

These Standards provide minimum plan requirements and procedures to control the adverse impacts assocaited with soil erosion and sedimentation during construction.

Detail from the 2011 Standards and Specifications

This page includes new and revised details for the various practices that are used in the development of erosion and sediment control plans.

Guidance on Major and Minor Modifications to Erosion and Sediment Control Plans

2017 Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations Update

These are the latest Statewide regulations related to erosion and sediment control for construction.​

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