Soil Erosion

While it may be true that a little dirt never hurt anyone, the massive quantity entering state waterways each year is damaging and costly. Consequently, Michigan's Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Program (SESC) was implemented in an effort to limit the amount of sediment pollution entering the state's waters by improper construction site management practices. Special measures must be taken at all development sites where there will be a disruption in land cover.

About Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is a process that occurs when the actions of water, wind, and other factors dislodge or detach surface soils. Sedimentation is the process whereby detached particles generated by erosion are deposited elsewhere. Once soil is lost to erosion, it is nearly impossible to replace - except at great expense. The resulting sedimentation can decrease water clarity, degrade fish and wildlife habitat, and adversely impact water quality.

Public Works & Soil Erosion

The Muskegon County Department of Public Works (DPW) administers Part 91 Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control, of Public Act 451, of 1994, as amended, requirements for earth change projects within the County. Projects that disturb one or more acres of land or are within 500 feet of a lake or stream* require an earth change permit before starting work.

Note: Lakes and streams are defined by the state rules. Please contact the DPW to see if a water feature meets the state definition.

Property Owners

Property owners wanting to conduct earth changes must first complete a permit application that is available online. The application package gives complete instructions on required information and the permit fee schedule. Once an application is completed and forwarded to the DPW, the application will be reviewed and a permit issued if all criteria are met. Permits are issued for a period of one year and may be extended for an additional year if an extension request is received before the permit expires. Once a permit is issued, County staff will monitor a site for compliance with permit conditions and determine whether soil is leaving the property or entering a water of the state.

Helpful Resources

If you have any questions about permits or observe a site that may not be in compliance with Part 91 requirements, please contact the DPW at 231-724-6411.

Online Payments

Make soil erosion permit payments online at GovPayNet - Soil Erosion.