RI Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook Revised

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Soil ErosionAfter 25 years, the Rhode Island Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook has finally been revised.  When the first handbook was published in 1989 “Field of Dreams” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” were in theaters, Milli Vanilli was on the radio, George H.W. Bush was elected president, and only birds could “tweet”.  A lot has changed since then including available technology, best management practices, and regulatory policy associated with soil erosion and sediment control.  Therefore, in 2012 a Technical Review Committee was formed to update the outdated handbook.  The revised handbook, which has nearly doubled in length, is much more comprehensive and relevant to today’s standards.

You will be directly affected by the revisions if you are planning just about any kind of development.  Most development projects require the preparation of a Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan to reduce soil erosion and prevent sediment from washing into water bodies and clogging storm drains.  Some of the changes include:

  • A site constraint map illustrating storm drains, water bodies, wetlands, soil types, steep slopes, and more is now required.
  • A map of existing soil resources must be prepared.  Map preparation will require the excavation of four foot deep test holes throughout the property and documentation by a soil scientist.
  • Stormwater runoff flow rates and volume must be controlled during construction with temporary measures.
  • New measures such as straw wattles, compost tubes, and compost berms are included.  Hay bales are discouraged.
  • Temporary structural control measures may be required to divert run-on.

Contact us if you are planning to develop or regrade a property.  We’re happy to answer any questions.

Blog post written by Jason Gold, P.E.

photo credit: bertknot via photopin cc

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