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Give your views on improving erosion control during construction activity

News Article
This photo illustrates measures taken to control erosion on a development site, notably the presence of hay and plastic sheeting to prevent the loss of dirt and sediment at a site.
The City of Portland is updating its erosion control requirements to better manage soils and sediments on construction sites and reduce development impacts on the environment. Your ideas and suggestions on an early draft are welcome.
In this article

The Erosion and Sediment Control manual is one tool for complying with the federal Clean Water Act. This manual describes requirements for developers and construction managers to keep dirt, mud, rocks and sediment on-site when building occurs.

Erosion control is important for maintaining water quality and nutrients in soil. It is also important for protecting nearby streams and the fish and wildlife that inhabit them.

The Erosion and Sediment Control Manual provides guidelines for developing erosion control plans. It also offers best practices for managing run-off of sediment and other materials when construction or other ground-disturbing activities occur.

The proposed updates are the first of two drafts that will be available for comment. Comments and suggestions are highly encouraged to continue to inform ongoing work on the project. There are three documents available for review and comment.

Erosion and Sediment Control Manual

A draft of the updated Erosion and Sediment Control Manual is now available for public review and feedback. It is available to download from the links below. The draft manual focuses on:

  • Clarifying when and where the manual applies
  • Clarifying permanent stabilization requirements for the end of the construction period
  • Clarifying which erosion, sediment, and pollution control measures (Best Management Practices) are required when and where; some apply in all situations, some apply only in special circumstances such as steeply sloping sites or sites in close proximity to water bodies
  • Emphasis of continued maintenance of erosion control measures during construction
  • Technical updates

Enforcement Rule

In addition to the draft manual, you are invited to comment on a draft administrative rule that will guide the enforcement of erosion and sediment control requirements. These administrative rules include:

  • Rules that apply to projects that are permitted by BDS, including most on-property work
  • Using common practices for other BDS inspections, such as notices of correction, re-inspection fees, and escalating fees or fines for failure to comply with erosion control requirements during construction

Portland City Code, Title 10

Finally, you are invited to comment on draft amendments to Portland City Code, Title 10, Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations, that provide the City’s code own over-arching regulations and authority for erosion and sediment control:

  • Housekeeping amendments
  • Moving the details of specific requirements and standards from Title 10 into the Erosion and Sediment Control manual or new enforcement rule as appropriate, for ease of administration

More detailed project information can be found here.

Informational session held Oct. 11

An informational session to learn more about updates to the Erosion and Sediment Control Manual was held online on Monday, Oct. 11.

Public comment received through Oct. 31

Comments on the initial draft of the revised Erosion and Sediment Control Manual, the new administrative rule on enforcement, and Title 10 amendments were accepted through Oct. 31, 2021.

Next steps

The Erosion and Sediment Control Manual, the administrative rule for enforcement, and amendments to Title 10 will be updated and available for additional comment in early 2022.

In Spring 2022, the Portland City Council will consider the amendments to Title 10. If approved, those code amendments, the updated Erosion and Sediment Control manual, and the new administrative rule on enforcement procedures will likely become effective on July 1, 2022.

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Ken Ray

Public Information Officer, Development Services