Reverse pay dirt: Avoid erosion control fines

News Article
This photo shows temporary barriers in place to control erosion on a construction site.
Learn how you can ensure your ground-disturbing construction project complies with erosion control requirements and avoids penalties.

Last fall, Development Services updated its scheduling system to help customers obtain a pre-construction erosion control inspection. These inspections, commonly called “#200 inspections,” are needed to review and approve the installation of erosion and sediment controls before any ground-disturbing activity begins at a construction site.

To assist customers in using the updated inspection scheduling system, Development Services phased its enforcement of fines for failure to achieve an approved #200 inspection before undertaking ground-disturbing activity. As of Feb. 1, Development Services is issuing fines, which start at $210 ($105 if the #200 inspection is approved after ground-disturbing activity begins). Fines increase if corrections are not made within prescribed timelines. Fines must be paid before further inspections can be scheduled.

This is a sample of the top portion of an erosion control inspection form that illustrates inspection results and fees that are assessed.

Results of erosion control inspections are emailed to customers. If there are conditions that need correction, violations identified, and required deadlines for a reinspection, the report will describe those. It will also include information on any reinspection fees and fines owed, with a link to pay charges online.

Customers must call the City’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) line, at 503-823-7000, to schedule a pre-construction erosion control inspection.

Erosion control inspections are only required for construction projects that involve ground-disturbing activities. Projects such as kitchen or bathroom remodels and interior improvements to commercial buildings are some of the projects that do not usually require erosion control inspections. If your permit requires a #200 inspection for work that does not involve ground-disturbing activity, please call 503-823-7300 for assistance.

Why erosion control is important

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.

Sediments from disturbed soils can move onto neighboring properties and streets and into sewer systems and other bodies of water. Excessive sediment is a pollutant and damages the functions of both sewer systems and natural watersheds.

The Federal Clean Water Act requires state and local governments to minimize the potential for soil discharges and runoff to pollute nearby waters. Oregon law prohibits the discharge or placement of wastes into waters of the state and the discharge of waste that causes violations of water quality standards.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality grants the City of Portland a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The City must comply with all conditions of this permit and take measures to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff from construction activity.

For questions about erosion control requirements, please visit this web page or call the Erosion Control Hotline at 503-823-0900.


Erosion Control Hotline

Development Services
phone number503-823-0900Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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