Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations

New Regulations for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Published January 27, 2012

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) formally updated erosion and sediment control regulations on January 27, 2012. The new regulations will enhance erosion and sediment control practices across the State, improve the water quality of construction site runoff, and help in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

An updated handbook containing these regulatory changes can be accessed here:

2011 Maryland Standards and Specifications for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control 

Changes include:

  • Establishing a maximum 20-acre grading unit for most construction sites. This will limit larger earth disturbances that are more likely to cause sediment pollution.
  • Improving stabilization requirements to assist in reducing erosion and sediment generation, and help establish grass in non-work areas. (Details on the new stabilization requirements may be found in the regulation link below.)
  • Requiring each county and municipality in Maryland to submit a draft erosion and sediment control ordinance to MDE for review within six months and adopt an approved ordinance within one year of the regulations' adopted date. (Municipalities may adopt the erosion and sediment control ordinance of their respective county.)

The new regulations were also published in the Maryland Register on January 27, 2012, and are available through the Division of State Documents' website​.

An update to the handbook has been supported by government entities, the regulatory community, trade groups, and members of the public for several years. Most of the new design specifications reflect proven practices that are already in use. Also, for improved efficiency, the handbook includes a new section describing a plan approval process integrated with Maryland’s Stormwater Management Program.

Details from the 2011 Standards and Specifications

Details are available online through the 2011 Details Website.  If there are any additional questions, please contact the Sediment, Stormwater & Dam Safety Program at (410) 537-3543, 1-800-633-6101 or by email (


New Model Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance Published February 29, 2012

MDE has published the 2012 Model Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance.  This guidance is provided to assist county and municipal code development in addressing the new erosion and sediment control regulations.  While all local development review and approval processes are unique, MDE will use this document as a template to ensure effective implementation of erosion and sediment ordinances.  A copy of the Model Ordinance can be accessed here:

2012 Maryland Model Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance​


Questions about the Model Ordinance should be directed to the Sediment, Stormwater & Dam Safety Program at (410) 537-3543. 

Timeline and Publication Dates Code of Maryland Regulation (26.17.01) for Erosion and Sediment Control

  • Originally proposed in the Maryland Register (Volume 37, Issue 18) on August 27, 2010
  • Re-proposed in the Maryland Register (Volume 38, Issue 18) on August 26, 2011
  • Notice of Final Action in the Maryland Register (Volume 39, Issue 2) on January 27, 2012

If there are any questions, please contact Pat Depkin at (410) 537-3543, 1-800-633-6101 or by email (

These regulations and the accompanying handbook are dedicated to Richard Trickett who was instrumental in this process and our go-to person for all things sediment control.

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