ESC Permits

Erosion and Sediment Control Permits: Who Needs Them?

Construction worker wearing a hardhat digging a trench

New subdivision grading, new homes and new commercial buildings all require an Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) permit. The application processes for these projects guide the applicant on how to obtain the proper ESC permit. Demolition of buildings also requires an ESC permit.

But what if a project isn’t new, or is just one phase of a project that may not require a building or grading permit?

In general, any construction related activity that occurs on parcels within the City of Boise must obtain an Erosion and Sediment Control permit if the disturbance is 10 cubic yards of earth or more, regardless of the phase of construction or type of trade permit (i.e., plumbing, electrical) issued for the work to be completed. In brief: If dirt is being moved and the total disturbance is approximately 10 cubic yards (10 cubic yards is 270 cubic feet, or the load of a standard dump truck), an ESC permit must be obtained, and the risk of polluted stormwater runoff must be controlled.

The following scenarios require an Erosion and Sediment Control permit. The type of ESC permit is dependent on the intended use of the project, size and location.

  • If you dig a hole and the cone-shaped stockpile from the hole is 10 feet tall with a 10-foot diameter.
  • If you dig a trench for a new utility line that is 6 feet deep, 3 feet wide and over 15 feet long.
  • If you grade a half foot of soil off a 500-square foot area (0.01 acre).

City of Boise ESC Permits and ESC Plan Requirements

  • ESC General Permit: Issued for residential construction including new homes and duplexes, site work and water/sewer for minor land divisions, home additions and site improvements (> 500 sq. ft. or 10 cubic yards’ earthwork), residential demolition, material staging and stockpiling, and certain minor commercial tenant improvements (500-1000 sq. ft. with exterior work). General Permits require that a certified ESC Responsible Person must have operational control at the site. No ESC plan submittal is required for General Permits.

  • ESC Site Specific Permit (includes Special Site and Annual permits): 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 (> 1-acre disturbance). For commercial construction, all new buildings, significant exterior site improvements, demolitions, and subdivision development. A Site Specific ESC 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, Responsible Person, and Site Preparation Inspection before significant earthwork and after installation of initial BMPs described in the ESC plan.

  • Questions? If any questions about what type of permit your construction project will need, please contact the ESC Inspectors.

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