Erosion and Sediment Control

Erosion and sediment control waddle next to sidewalk.

Urban construction sites are a significant source of stormwater pollutants such as sediment, oils and greases, bacteria, toxic chemicals, corrosive liquids, excess nutrients, loose trash and debris, as well as fugitive dust if not properly controlled.

The goal of the Erosion and Sediment Control program is to manage and eliminate construction site pollutants through education, permitting, inspection, compliance assistance and enforcement. By working together with the construction community, we can protect our water quality, minimize the environmental impact of our growing city, and remain in compliance with state and federal regulations.

For questions, contact us.

Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Permit

All construction sites within the City of Boise should practice erosion control, sediment control and pollution prevention best management practices (BMPs) regardless of size or ownership. 

If a residential, commercial, or municipal construction project disturbs 10 cubic yards or more, a City of Boise Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) permit is required. Construction within the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) Right-of-Way is managed by ACHD’s Stormwater Quality Division.

There are two types of ESC permits:

  1. ESC General Permit
    The ESC general permit is issued for residential construction, including new homes and duplexes, home additions and site improvements (> 500 sq. ft. or 10 cubic yards of earthwork), residential demolition, material staging and stockpiling and certain minor commercial tenant improvements (500-100 sq. ft. with exterior work). General permits require that a certified ESC responsible person must have operational control of the site. No ESC plan submittal is required for general permits.
  2. ESC Site Specific Permit
    The ESC site specific permit is for residential construction, new homes and home additions (>500 sq. ft. or 10 cubic yards) in designated hillside or environmentally sensitive zones, multifamily units and complexes and subdivision development. For commercial construction, all new buildings, significant exterior site improvements, demolitions and subdivision development. An ESC site specific permit requires submittal of a site specific ESC plan that includes a site map and project narrative detailing BMPs to be implemented at the site. These projects must have a certified plan designer, ESC responsible person and site preparation inspection before significant earthwork and after installation of initial BMPs described in the ESC plan.

View Applications and Related Documents

ESC Training and Certification

All projects requiring an ESC permit must have a city-certified responsible person who has direct, day-to-day control over the site's construction activities. To develop an ESC plan for an ESC site specific permit, a plan designer is required.

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Site Preparation Inspection Policy

This policy clarifies the ESC site preparation requirement for City of Boise ESC permit holders. For certain projects, scheduling a site preparation inspection is required before any land disturbing construction activity and after the installation of BMPs specified in the projects's ESC/SWPPP site maps and narrative.

View Policy (PDF)
Construction Site Dewatering Plan Preparation

If dewatering of groundwater or excavations is required at construction sites, this policy regarding dewatering plan preparation and implementation must be followed. The intent of this policy is to prevent the discharge of pollutants to MS4 storm drains and to surface waters throughout Boise due to failure to implement a dewatering plan and is compliant with city, state and federal water quality standards.

View Policy (PDF)
Concrete Washout Enforcement Update

Uncontained concrete washout wastewater observed at construction sties will result in the ESC or BLD permit holder being cited with a special investigation fee of $78.75, a re-inspection fee of $55 and a parcel hold for all inspection activity until fees are paid, dumped washout is cleaned up and a new compliant washout is installed and inspected.

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