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Updates to the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual, 2021-22

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Learn more about updates to the City of Portland’s Erosion and Sediment Control Manual and associated policies and ways in which you can get involved.
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Why are we updating erosion and sediment control requirements?

Federal and state regulations require the City of Portland to have and implement an erosion control program and manual. The requirements are implemented through the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) under the Clean Water Act.

The City is required to implement an erosion control program that prevents and reduces pollutants from reaching its storm system and surface waters from construction activities. The City is required to have, implement and update ordinances, code, and criteria for an erosion control program that includes plan review, onsite erosion control and prevention measures, inspections, and enforcement procedures. Portland City Code Title 10 and the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual are the code and rule that outline the actions the City will perform to comply with these requirements. The Erosion and Sediment Control Manual was last revised in 2008, while Title 10 has not been revised since 2000.

The City’s Erosion and Sediment Control Manual provides guidance and requirements to developers, contractors, residents and City bureau’s design and construction staff related to temporary and permanent erosion control measures for construction activities from site preparation through project completion. The requirements apply to all types of projects, including both private and public construction projects.

 

Key Dates and Opportunities for Comment

  • October 2021, First of two public drafts: Public comment period open from Oct. 1-31
    • This is a 70 percent draft of the Manual, Title 10, and new Enforcement Rule
    • Comments may be submitted here
  • Monday, October 11: Lunch and Learn Public Information Session, noon to 1:00 p.m., which involved a short presentation of the changes followed by Q and A and comment.
  • January 2022: A second public draft will be published for review.
  • February 2022: Public hearings on Erosion and Sediment Control Manual and Enforcement administrative rule will be held.
  • March 2022: A Portland City Council Hearing on Proposed Title 10 Amendments is anticipated and the Director of the Bureau of Development Services will formally adopt the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual and Enforcement administrative rule.
  • July 1, 2022: Effective Date for implementation of the new Erosion and Sediment Control Manual, administrative rules and Title 10 amendments (if adopted by City Council)

Summary of Updates

There are three code or administrative rules that are being updated or created through this project. Highlights of the proposed changes include:

Erosion and Sediment Control Manual

  • ​​​​​Clarification when and where the manual applies. The manual applies to all ground-disturbing activity, whether a permit is required or not. A permit, including plan review and inspections, is required whenever there is ground disturbance of 500 square feet or more OR if the site is a Special Site, defined in Section 2.1.4 of the manual. The manual applies to both private and public projects.
  • Establishes that permanent stabilization at the end of construction is required.  Both vegetative or non-vegetative practices are allowed.
  • Provides additional clarity on which Best Management Practices (BMPs) are required when and where; some apply in all situations, some apply only in special circumstances, like steeply sloping sites or sites near water bodies.
  • No change to when the existing Simple Site Form can be used. However, there is clarity that a Simple Site Form (Plan) is a written plan as opposed to a graphic plan. The Simple Site Plan is more interactive than it is currently and requires the responsible party to select specific BMPs that will be used to meet minimum requirements.
  • Emphasis that BMPs must be continually maintained or adjusted as needed throughout construction.
  • Provides avenues for approval of alternate methods or materials.

BDS Enforcement administrative rule

  • A new administrative rule regarding enforcement of projects that fall under the purview of the Bureau of Development Services (BDS)-private projects out-side of the public right-of-way.
  • A companion to existing administrative rules administered by the Bureau of Environmental Services for activities that do not require a permit.
  • Utilizes common practices for BDS inspections; notices of correction, re-inspection fees, escalating fees/fines for failure to correct based on potential threat, severity and recurrence, and administrative review of enforcement measures.

Title 10, Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations

  • Housekeeping changes
  • Moving the details of specific requirements and standards from Title 10 into the Erosion and Sediment Control manual and new BDS Enforcement administrative rule as appropriate.