Residential estate, Maui, Hawaii

Do I Need an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan?

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Erosion & Sediment Control Plan (ESCP)

If you plan to do construction on your property such as building a home or other structure, it’s important to understand the new regulations set forth by the Department of Permitting and Planning. These regulations pertain to the erosion and sedimentation of your property and the property surrounding it. Here are the details of what is expected of you as the homeowner.

Who needs an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan

For any type of construction work that will disturb the land, you must submit an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan. The following are examples of the type of work that falls into that category:

  • Pouring a foundation
  • Constructing a retaining wall
  • Creating a driveway
  • Installing a sidewalk
  • Demolition work
  • Installing utilities
  • Trenching
  • Grading the land

This is only a partial list.

What is an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan (ESCP)

In simplest terms, the ESCP is a document that explains how you plan to prevent or reduce erosion during the construction process and “minimize the impacts of sediment, turbidity, and hydrologic changes off-site.” In other words, how will you ensure your construction project will not harm the environment, lands, or waters off-site? You may be wondering who is responsible for this documentation. The answer is the homeowner is.

Why is this necessary?

Any time the land is disturbed there is the risk that dirt, debris, and other waste will end up in the water sources. For example, when you dig a foundation for a home, it stirs and exposes soil. Then later when it rains or water is used during the project, the loose soil washes away from the site and ends up eventually in lakes, streams, and oceans. This wreaks havoc on our water. Protecting the oceans and streams from pollution is important for the community.

How long does my control plan have to be?

There is no set length for your ESCP but it must be thorough enough for the project you’re doing. If you are doing extensive construction and will be disturbing large quantities of soil, then your plan will be more extensive. If you are doing a relatively small amount of work, then the plan would likely more simple.

Category 1A and 1B control plans

Projects that involve disturbance of less than one acre of ground are put in a separate category as larger projects. The types of activities that fall within this category include:

Swimming pools

Retaining and CMU Walls

Foundation Repairs and Reconstruction

Sidewalk and Driveway Repairs and Reconstruction

House Demolition, Addition and New Residential Construction


The Department of Permitting and Planning categorized projects because different rules apply to projects that are not in 1A or 1B.

What do I need for my ESCP if I have a Category 1A or 1B project?

According to the rules set forth by the department, you will need the following components in your Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan:

  • Checklist: The checklist must indicate that you have followed appropriate steps to ensure minimal erosion, sediment control, and best practices for managing the project. Templates are available to help you understand what is necessary.
  • Map of the site: This map will show some of the measures you’ll take to comply with the plan. For example, your map may include a silt fence that will be used to keep the soil contained.
  • Construction Schedule

The checklist is the more comprehensive piece you will complete. It outlines all of the necessary measures you will take to comply.

As you prepare to construct your next project, remember to begin with making your Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. We will be posting more information about this topic in the near future, so stay connected. For more immediate information, please contact us today!

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3 thoughts on “Do I Need an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan?

  1. I think that it’s good you point out that your control plan will be more extensive if you’re moving more soil and less if you’re doing less. It’d be important to make sure that you have enough to cover you to make sure that things won’t suddenly erode on you to the point that it damages what you’ve already done. It seems like it’d be a good idea to find a soil erosion control company that would help you find and execute the right plan.

    1. I agree Amanda, most of my projects are home owners that are not moving a lot of material during there projects. The work I do is architectural so if the project included a lot of civil work I would look for help with the erosion control aspects of the plan.

  2. The area that I live in has had a lot of erosion and I wanted to look up some ways that companies use to control the erosion. The part about growing plants was really interesting to me and making sure that they establish deep root. I think that having a natural way to control erosion is such a great idea and really a win-win.

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