Soil Erosion & Sediment Control

Soil Erosion & Sediment Control

During the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s, we saw rapid shifts in land-use throughout the Garden State, moving from primarily agricultural and rural to non-agricultural uses such as housing construction, industrial and commercial development. These activities led to increased soil erosion and sediment throughout New Jersey. Our waterways became polluted with sediment which severely impacted water quality, recreation, fish and wildlife. Sediment impacted storm sewers and roadways. Dust or blowing soil, caused by wind erosion, presented both a health and safety hazard as well as a nuisance to public and private property.

In response to the increased threat to environmental quality, New Jersey passed the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, Chapter 251, Public Law 1975. In essence, this act regulates construction and land disturbing projects. The aim is to reduce the danger from storm water runoff, to retard non point source pollution from sediment and to conserve and protect the land, water and other natural resources of the State. Projects that disturb a land area of 5,000 square feet or more are required to submit a plan for Certification of Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (SESC) be submitted to our office for review, approval and inspection.

Effective October 1, 2009 Stormwater Construction Permit (5G3-NJ0088323) Requests for Authorization (RFA) applications will no longer be accepted and processed along with your Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan application* by the local Soil Conservation District. Permittees are required to submit their applications and payment electronically online utilizing the NJDEP’s Stormwater Construction Activity E-Permitting System, or via paper application to the NJDEP’s Bureau of Permits Management. Information and instructions for completing and submitting RFAs using either process may be accessed through the NJDEP web page at

This change does not affect the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan approval process.* Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan applications must still be submitted to the local district offices for certification. However, for those projects requiring a NJPDES Stormwater Construction Activity permit, the district shall issue a SCD Certification Code to the permittee verifying that the 251 Plan has been approved. This code is necessary to complete either the online E-Permitting and paper RFA process.

Please contact the Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control (BNPC) with any questions or concerns at 609-633-7021 or by email at

*Information completed on the RFA E-Permit application must be consistent with the information submitted on the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Application

Click on RFA E-Permit for a copy of the above notice.