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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
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.

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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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Those having decision making authority are required to complete SESC training and successfully pass the exam. This training is available through MSU’s Virtual University program. EGLE’s web site for learning more about this training is: https://www.michigan.gov/egle/. The exams are offered by EGLE. EGLE also offers limited-seating classroom instruction for SESC training. Contact the Construction & Technology Support Area for details and scheduling.

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Contractor Obligation

The Contractor is responsible to construct and maintain SESC measures in keeping with the contract documents and in compliance with the SESC Manual. Site specific conditions may result in the need to adapt, adjust, and add control measures to maintain the level of erosion control to comply with the Act. The Engineer is responsible to direct these improvements.

If the Contractor is working outside the right-of-way for borrow operations, waste or disposal areas, haul roads, storage sites, or any other earth change activity affecting one acre or more or within 500 feet of a lake or stream, the Contractor must obtain an SESC permit from the applicable MEA or CEA, property owner agreement(s), and other applicable permits from EGLE. A copy of such permits must be submitted to the Engineer.

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EGLE visits project sites in reaction to complaints, due to interest, and while performing audits of MDOT’s APA status. Portions of projects found outside the SESC Manual requirements will result in requests for corrective action. Continued disregard for EGLE concerns or gross violations may result in a Notice of Violation (NOV) being issued to MDOT. The SESC Manual describes the complaint procedure. The Engineer must direct the appropriate corrective actions for completion within five days of the NOV. If timely corrective actions are not possible, the Engineer must, within the same five days, submit a plan to EGLE describing the proposed actions.

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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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Inspectors assigned to perform NPDES inspections are required to be certified Storm Water Operators (SWO). This self-training is coordinated through the Region Office and the testing is offered once per month by EGLE. Contact the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) district office in your area for further details.

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The Engineer is to administer the contract such that the Contractor constructs and properly maintains all applicable temporary and permanent soil erosion control measures.

If the Contractor is working outside of the right-of-way for borrow operations, storage or disposal areas, haul roads or any other earth change activity affecting five acres or more, the Contractor must obtain a NPDES permit from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). A copy of any such permit must be submitted to the Engineer prior to the start of work.

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The project’s SWO is required to perform inspection for NPDES compliance once per week, and within 24 hours after every precipitation event that results in a discharge from the right of way and ensure that any needed corrective actions are carried out. A log of the inspections and corrective actions shall be maintained on file for review and shall be retained for a period of three years from the date of the inspection or corrective action. The SWO shall document these inspections and corrective actions onto MDOT’s NPDES Form 1126. Deficiencies must be brought to the attention of the Contractor, in writing, and this notice must include a deadline for completing the corrective actions.

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Corrective Actions Deadline

If corrective actions are warranted, the SWO will notify the Contractor of the expected actions and provide a timely deadline. The SWO is to record this notification and subsequent corrective actions on the part of the Contractor. The corrective actions should be completed within seven calendar days. Emergency corrective actions, related to 1) sedimentation that occurs in streams, drainage structures, or watercourses, or 2) erosion that affects the support of the roadbed, or 3) the safety of the public should be completed within 24 hours.

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Winter Construction Storm Water Inspection Reports

On March 6, 2013, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (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 conditions that may allow runoff to occur such as 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).

Michigan’s Public Act 451 Storm Water Construction Regulation 323.2190 requires that construction activities on sites one acre or greater in size with a point source discharge to waters of the state be inspected once per week and within 24 hours after every precipitation event that results in a runoff from the site. During inactive periods when a construction site has been temporarily stabilized and below freezing temperatures predominate, the Certified Storm Water Operator, without performing an on site 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 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 on site 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. On site 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.
  3. Once any of the conditions identified in 2A 2D occur, on site inspections shall resume within 24 hours. On site 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.

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Non-Compliance Progressive Steps

The following are suggested progressive steps to take if a Contractor fails to comply with either the SESC or NPDES regulations.

  • Issue a work order describing the work to be completed and the applicable deadlines.
  • Issue a Notice of Non-Compliance with Contract Requirements (Form 1165) for failure to respond to sedimentation and erosion control needs in a timely manner, with 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 maintenance (direct or contract forces) to perform the work. The Contractor is subject to back charges for the costs associated for work performed by others.
  • In certain situations, it is possible to contract with other specialty Contractors to perform work. The Contractor may be subject to back charges for the costs associated for work performed by others.
  • Prepare an interim Contractor Evaluation (Form 1182W) documenting problems with SESC/NPDES measures.

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Submittal of Notice of Termination

The purpose of this construction manual update is to clarify the requirements for submitting a Notice of Termination (NOT) when a project is completely stabilized.

Part 31 of Michigan Public Act 451, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), requires a Notice of Coverage (NOC) be submitted to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for those projects which create an earth disturbance of five acres or more and have a storm water discharge to the waters of the state. The NOC is submitted during the project design phase. When a NOC is required, a Notice of Termination (NOT) is also required to be submitted to EGLE when the project is stabilized. The NOT submittal is critical for compliance with NREPA and the MDOT Storm Water Permit.

Prior to NOT submittal, the region resource specialist or the region soils engineer must inspect the site and concur that it is stabilized. A site is considered stabilized when all temporary soil erosion and sedimentation control (SESC) measures have been removed, permanent SESC measures installed, and vegetation well established. SESC inspections must continue and be documented until the site is stabilized and the NOT has been submitted to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

The region resource specialist or region soils engineer will notify the resource specialist in the Bureau of Bridges and Structures Geotechnical Section that the site has been stabilized. The resource specialist in the Bureau of Bridges and Structures will submit the NOT and distribute copies to the respective construction engineer, resource specialist, and/or region soils engineer.

Once the NOT for a project has been submitted, the site will be subject to final inspection by EGLE to ensure the site is completely stabilized prior to acceptance of the NOT. Further information can be found in the MDOT SESC Manual, which is available at:




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