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: A public comment period was open from Oct. 1-31. This is a 70 percent draft of the Manual, Title 10, and new Enforcement Rule.
- Monday, October 11: Lunch and Learn Public Information Session, which involved a short presentation of the changes followed by Q and A and comment.
- August 2022: A second public draft was published for review.
- September 2022: Public hearings on the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual and Enforcement administrative rule will be held.
- September 14, 2022: A Portland City Council Hearing on Proposed Title 10 Amendments was held, and the City Council voted to adopt the Title 10 amendments on Sept. 21. The Director of the Bureau of Development Services will formally adopt the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual and Enforcement administrative rule following a public comment period ending Sept. 30.
- October 21, 2022: Effective Date for Title 10 amendments adopted by City Council
- By November 1, 2022: Implementation of the new Erosion and Sediment Control Manual and administrative rules will take effect.
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 outside 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.