208 - Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (NPDES)

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Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control


  1. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for various environmental measures to be enacted throughout the life of state transportation projects and activities to ensure that issues related to environmental protection are appropriately considered and to provide transportation services that comply with the following rules and regulations.
Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act 1994 PA 451, as amended

Part 91

Regulates Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) measures.

Part 31

Regulates National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Regulates floodplains and floodways. Any work within a floodplain requires a Floodplain Permit and compliance with the State Flood Hazard Management Plan.

Part 301

Regulates inland lakes and streams. Any work below the ordinary high-water elevation of an inland lake or stream requires an Inland Lakes and Streams Permit.

Part 303

Regulates wetland protection. Any work within a wetland requires a State Wetland Permit. Any unavoidable wetland impacts resulting from construction activities in a regulated wetland must be properly mitigated on a no net loss basis.

Part 315

Regulates dam safety. Any construction, enlargement, repair, reconstruction, alteration, removal, or abandonment of any dam requires a Dam Safety Permit.

Part 323

Regulates shorelands protection and management. Any removal of vegetation, drainage alterations, land alterations or construction within flood risk, high risk erosion area, or environmental areas requires a Shorelands Protection and Management Permit.

Part 325

Regulates submerged lands on the Great Lakes. Any dredging, filling, or related construction activities in, over, or adjacent to any of the Great Lakes require a Great Lakes Submerged Lands Permit.

Part 353

Regulates sand dunes protection and management. Any vegetation removal, construction, or earth change within a critical dune area requires a Sand Dune Protection and Management Permit.

  1. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has designated MDOT as an Authorized Public Agency (APA). The APA designation allows MDOT to accomplish earth change activities without attaining a Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Permit from a County or Municipal Enforcing Agency.
    The APA designation requires all earth disturbance activities to follow the approved MDOT SESC Procedures which are outlined in the MDOT Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual. Road and Bridge construction contract plans include SESC measures that are to be used during construction. The engineer and the contractor are responsible for installing and maintaining the measures shown on the plans. If needed the SESC Plans may be modified to accommodate any unforeseen earth disturbance activities that could result in violation of Part 91.
  2. Permits: NPDES and other permits required under the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended are obtained during the preliminary engineering phase of a project. The permits are included in the contract documents. The engineer is responsible to enforce the permit requirements while the contractor is responsible for construction activities described in the permit.
  3. Project Stabilization: The contractor is responsible to install and maintain temporary and permanent SESC Measures until adequate ground cover is established and the project has been determined to be stabilized and a Notice of Termination has been submitted (if applicable).

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Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Requirements

Notification to County Enforcing Agency (CEA), Municipal Enforcing Agency (MEA), and County Drain Commissioner

As an APA, MDOT is not required to obtain individual SESC Permits from CEA, MEA, and the County Drain Commissioner. The engineer is required to notify the appropriate enforcing agency that an earth disturbance project will be starting. This notification is done by sending a copy of the preconstruction meeting minutes to the appropriate enforcing agency.

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MDOT personnel who have SESC decision making authority or inspection responsibilities are required to complete at a minimum the EGLE Construction Storm Water Operator (CSWO) exam. The exam is offered by EGLE. Personnel who have SESC decision making authority must have the Comprehensive Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Certification. Contact EGLE for exam schedule. When submitting an SESC renewal or examination application must note on the bottom of the application to invoice MDOT. For training requirements see Section 1.2 in the MDOT Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual.

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Contractor Obligation

The contractor is responsible to construct and maintain both temporary and permanent SESC measures shown on the construction plans and in compliance with the MDOT Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual. Site specific earth disturbances may result in the need to modify the existing plan or add additional SESC measures to comply with Part 91. The engineer is responsible to ensure Part 91 (SESC) compliance.

If the contractor is working outside the MDOT right-of-way for borrow operations, waste or disposal areas, or any other earth disturbance activity affecting more than one acre or located within 500 feet of a lake or stream the property owner must obtain a SESC permit from the applicable MEA or CEA and EGLE. A copy of all permits must be provided to the engineer.

If the contractor obtains MDOT permission to disturb an area outside of the limits of earth disturbance but within the project limits, a separate earth change plan using form 1568 Approval for Project Staging or Excess Material Locations on MDOT ROW must be completed and submitted to the engineer for review and approval. Earth change plan requirements can be found in the MDOT SESC Manual. After all approvals have been obtained, provide a copy to the Construction Field Service Division Resource Specialist for inclusion into the MiEnviro permit system.

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EGLE may visit a project site in response to complaints, agency interest, and while performing audits of MDOT’s APA status. Continued disregard for EGLE concerns may result in a Notice of Violation (NOV) being issued to MDOT. The SESC Manual describes procedures to ensure compliance. The engineer must require the contractor to complete any corrective actions within 5 days of the NOV. If the corrective actions within that time frame are not possible the engineer must within the 5 days, submit a plan to EGLE describing the proposed actions. It is recommended that engineers work with their region resource specialist.

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The department will inspect construction sites for Part 91 and Part 31 / NPDES compliance every 7 days or within 24 hours after a precipitation event that results in a discharge from the site including weekend days regardless if the contractor is working or not. A discharge is defined as storm water runoff that does not infiltrate into the ground and leaves the construction site or enters waters of the state after a precipitation event. Engineering judgement must be used when determining if a discharge from the site has occurred. Inspectors must possess a current CSWO Certificate. Individuals who authorize changes to SESC measures shown on road or bridge construction plans must have a valid Comprehensive SESC Training Certificate.

Inspections are completed using MDOT’s Form 1126, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) Inspection Report.

Inspection Reports must be maintained for three years and available for inspection by auditing agencies.

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Corrective Actions Deadline

Corrective actions must be made within 24 hours if sediment has entered waters of the state, left department right-of-way, and/or if public safety may be compromised. Otherwise, corrective actions must be made within 5 calendar days. Corrective Actions, Notification Dates, and Completion Dates must be documented on Form 1126.

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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Guidlines


The proposal for projects subject to NPDES regulations, earth disturbances of one acre or greater will contain a Special Provision for NPDES Inspection and Response. Refer to EGLE’s Construction Site Storm Water Manual for comprehensive NPDES procedures.

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For projects subject to NPDES regulations, EGLE is to receive a Notice of Coverage (NOC) prior to the start of the project describing the project details. Development staff are to prepare the NOC and submit it to Construction and Technology Support Area. Construction and Technology staff will submit the NOC to the Bureau of Highways Engineer of Delivery for signature. Once signed, the NOC is returned to Construction and Technology for processing to EGLE. EGLE provides a letter of authorization. The TSC delivery staff is to complete the Notice of Termination (NOT) and submit it to Construction and Technology upon project stabilization.

Notice of Coverage (NOC) Chart
Notice of Termination (NOT) Chart

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Winter Construction Storm Water Inspection Reports

On March 6, 2013, the EGLE issued revised procedures for winter construction storm water inspections. EGLE will no longer accept “frozen ground” as a weather condition for determining construction site inspection frequency. On-site inspections must be resumed within 24 hours of any change in earth disturbance conditions that may allow construction storm water runoff to occur as a result of construction operations resuming, rainfall, or warming conditions that will cause snow melt. Detailed weather conditions must be recorded on Form 1126 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC).

Construction activities with an earth disturbance greater than one acre or located within 500 feet of a lake or a stream must be inspected once every 7 days or within 24 hours after a precipitation event that results in a discharge from the site including weekend days regardless if the contractor is working or not. During inactive periods when a construction site has been temporarily stabilized and below freezing temperatures predominate, the Certified Storm Water Operator, without performing an onsite inspection, may certify on Form 1126 that weather and inactive conditions are such that runoff from the site will not occur.

Certified Storm Water Operator Procedures

  1. In order to cease on site weekly inspections during periods of inactive earth change activity and/or during periods of time where discharges from the site are unlikely, each of the following must occur:
    1. Ensure that earth change activity has ceased. Document this condition on Form 1126.
    2. Confirm with an onsite inspection that the site has temporary soil erosion and sedimentation control measures implemented to minimize discharge of sediment from the site. Document this condition on Form 1126.
    3. Document weather conditions. Weather conditions must be consistently below freezing and unlikely to result in runoff from the site. Document this condition on Form 1126.
    Once conditions 1A, 1B, and 1C are met, subsequent weekly inspection documentation may be completed without a site visit by documenting weather conditions for the site location on Form 1126.
  2. Onsite inspections must resume if any of the following occurs:
    1. Earth change activity resumes.
    2. Weather conditions are such that snow melt runoff or precipitation in the form of rain is likely to leave the right of way.
    3. Weather conditions are consistently above freezing for several days in a row and the possibility exists for surface runoff, an inspection would be required.
    4. The site becomes unstabilized and starts to cause erosion.
  3. Once any of the conditions identified in 2A-2D occur, onsite inspections must resume within 24 hours. Onsite inspections must be performed weekly or within 24 hours of a precipitation event that results in a runoff from the site.

These EGLE winter inspection requirements apply to all Local Agency Projects which are covered pursuant to the provisions of Michigan’s Permit-by-Rule (R323.2190) of Part 31.

Detailed Reporting of Weather Conditions Affecting a Construction Site

Warming conditions may result in runoff from the site. However, the ground may still be frozen. Typical weather condition documentation that is acceptable may be obtained from any reliable weather source. This documentation should include the reporting period and the high temperature and average for the week. On March 6, 2013, the EGLE, issued revised procedures.

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Non-Compliance of SESC

  • When the contractor fails to respond or to correct SESC actions within the appropriate timeframes shown on form 1126, the contractor shall be determined to be in non-compliance of SESC. When the contractor is in non-compliance of SESC the engineer will issue form 1165 Notice of Non-Compliance with Contract Requirements. The engineer must detail language describing a projected project shutdown date and/or curtailment of biweekly progress estimates if the needs still are not resolved within the appropriate time frames.
  • Request direct or contract agency maintenance forces to perform the corrective actions. The contractor is subject to back charges for the costs associated for work completed by others. Ensure the contractor has been non-responsive or refuses to complete directed work.
  • In certain situations, it may be possible to contract with another contractor to perform corrective actions. The Prime Contractor may be subject to back charges for the costs associated for work performed by others.

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Turbidity Curtain

The shallow curtain is 2 feet deep maximum and can be staked in. The shallow curtain can also use the floating version too (although not shown) providing it is anchored to the channel bottom.

The deep curtain is defined as greater than 2 feet up to 10 feet in depth. If the water in the channel is 10 feet or less, the ballast chain must extend to the bottom. If the water is deeper than 10 feet, a 10 foot curtain is required and must be anchored to the bottom.

The SESC Manual is a contract document and is approved by EGLE. If the manual is not followed as approved, you could be subject to Notice of Violation letters from EGLE.

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Sediment Discharge into Waters of the State of Michigan

Part 31 of the Water Resources Protection of Public Act 1994 as amended.

Regulates the discharge of storm water from construction activity. Under Section 323.2190. Part 31 of the Michigan Administrative Code MDOT utilizes a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) to regulate construction storm water. MDOT shall take all reasonable steps to minimize any adverse impact to waters of the state.

If MDOT has a discharge of sediment into waters of the state, the Construction Engineer must:

  1. Provide in writing to the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Department (EGLE) the following information within five days of becoming aware of a discharge of sediment:
(a) A description of the discharge and its cause.
(b) The period of non-compliance including exact dates and times or if the non-compliance is not corrected, the anticipated time that the non-compliance is expected to continue and the steps taken to reduce, eliminate and prevent recurrence of the non-compliance.

The Construction Engineer should contact the MDOT Region Resource Specialist or the Metro Region Soils Engineer to determine the (EGLE) soil erosion and sedimentation control/construction storm water individual.

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Submission of Notice of Termination

For those projects which have an earth disturbance greater than five acres a NOC is obtained during the project development. When a NOC is obtained a NOT is required to be submitted to EGLE when the project is determined to be stabilized. A site is stabilized when all temporary SESC measures have been removed, permanent SESC measures installed, and vegetation well established. SESC inspections must continue until the site is stabilized and the NOT has been submitted to EGLE.

The Construction Engineer will request either the Region Soils Engineer or Region Resource Specialist to evaluate and determine if a construction site is stabilized. If the project is determined to be stabilized, the Region Soils Engineer or Region Resource Specialist contacts CFS to submit a NOT. Once the NOT is submitted MDOT may stop SESC inspections.

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The MDOT Storm Water Management Construction Site Soil Erosion & Pollution Prevention Pocket Guide is available to field staff for reference.

SESC Pocket Guide.png

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