New construction site sediment pollution regulations in effect

FoFC received this notice from Community & Environmental Defense Services:

Construction site sediment pollution regulations 

Protect All Exposed Soils 7 Days After Clearance

Among the most important new requirements is that all exposed construction site soils must be protected from erosive forces within seven days of initial clearance.  For most of a site, this means all disturbed areas must be covered with a layer of mulch (straw, etc.) sufficiently thick to obscure underlying soils.  An equally important new requirement is that 95% vegetative (grass) cover must be achieved. 

Silt Fence & Settling Ponds Can’t Protect The Bay; Only Thick Mulch & Grass

In the past most sites might have a sparse cover of grass and mulch resulting in vast quantities of eroded soil flowing into nearby waters.  It takes thick mulch and 95% cover to prevent pollution of nearby waters.  Perimeter measures like black silt fence and settling ponds simply can’t retain enough mud pollution on-site.  In fact, whenever you see exposed soil on a construction site, you can assume pollution will occur come the next storm.  In other words: Exposed Soil = Pollution.  Please report it at the Watershed Advocates Construction ES=P Database and/or to your local enforcement agency.

Sites Present Before March Must Have 95% Grass Cover By April 15th

Of course grass will not begin growing until March with another two- to four-weeks needed to achieve 95% cover.  If a site was cleared prior to March, yet by April 15th you see something less than 95% grass cover then you are also witnessing a violation of one of our most important aquatic resource protection laws.  Again, please report it promptly!  This is the best way to ensure this new law is fully enforced and the Bay and her tributaries are fully protected.

Detailed Guidance

For further detail see Exposed Soil = Pollution: How You Can Save 100 Feet of Chesapeake Bay Tributaries in an Hour by Halting Construction Site Mud Pollution