Erosion and Sediment Control

Erosion and sediment control on hill.

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 should practice erosion control, sediment control and pollution prevention Best Management Practices (BMPs) regardless of size or ownership in order to protect the Boise River, the environment, and to be a good neighbor. Any construction site not required to obtain an ESC permit found with ESC violations may be required to obtain an ESC permit.

Projects that require an issued City of Boise Erosion and Sediment Control Permit are residential, commercial, or municipal construction projects that disturb 10+ cubic yards of earth and/or include a 200+ square foot new building or ground floor addition on a Boise parcel. 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:

ESC General Permit

The ESC General Permit is issued for projects that do not require the submittal of a site-specific ESC plan in the application submittal checklist. The ESC General Permit is typically issued for residential construction that is occurring in an unclassified zone (not in the Hillside Zone or Environmentally Sensitive- adjacent to Boise River or tributary). Commercial minor tenant improvements may also be considered for an ESC General Permit based on amount of external earth disturbance.

General Permits require submittal of an ESC Permit Application #701 and listing a certified ESC Responsible Person who must have operational control at the site through all phases of construction. ESC Best Management Practices (BMPs) are still required on General ESC permitted projects and are regularly inspected for compliance by the ESC Inspectors. For more information regarding your project, please review the ESC documents and resources or contact the ESC Inspectors.

ESC Site Specific Permit

The ESC Site Specific permit is issued for projects that require the submittal of a site-specific ESC Plan in the application submittal checklist. An ESC plan is a project narrative and a site map describing the ESC BMPs to be implemented/installed in sequence at a construction site in order to prevent stormwater pollution. An ESC plan template and plan checklist are available on the ESC documents page for reference. Applicable projects include residential construction occurring in the Hillside Zone or in an Environmentally Sensitive area (adjacent to Boise River or tributary), multifamily buildings/complexes, and subdivision development. Most commercial projects require the ESC Site Specific Permit including all new buildings, significant exterior site improvements, demolitions, and subdivision development.

Site Specific Permits require the ESC plan to be submitted for review, completion of an ESC Permit Application #701, and listing a certified ESC Responsible Person who must have operational control at the site through all phases of construction. ESC BMPs are required to be installed/implemented per the approved ESC Plan and the Responsible Person must schedule an ESC Site Preparation Inspection at the beginning of the project. The project will be inspected regularly for compliance with ESC regulations and the BMPs listed in the approved ESC plan. If you feel your project should be exempt from the ESC Plan requirement, an ESC Plan Waiver Request may be considered in lieu of an 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.

Learn More

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