Erosion & Sediment Control Requirements

Pennsylvania’s Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Regulations) have existed since 1972. On November 19, 2010 additions and changes were made to these regulations. Some of these changes were related to the part of the regulations that affect farming operations. All farms are required to develop and implement a written erosion and sediment control plan (commonly referred to as an E&S Plan) to control soil erosion and sedimentation when plowing and tilling and for animal heavy use areas (AHUAs).

   Example of a farm with a riparian buffer. These buffers protect
   the stream from runoff.
  1. Farms are required to have an Erosion & Sediment Control Plan if any of the following is true:
    1. Areas being plowed and tilled will exceed 5,000 square feet or more
    2. Animal Heavy Use Areas exceed 5000 square feet or more
    3. A combination of plowing, tilling and animal heavy use areas will exceed 5,000 square feet


  2. Erosion and Sediment Control Plans for Farms Must Include:
    1. Cost-effective and reasonable best management practices designed to minimize the potential for accelerated erosion and sedimentation from plowing, tilling and animal heavy use areas.
    2. At a minimum must limit soil loss from accelerated erosion to the soil loss tolerance (T) over the planned crop rotation.
    3. A 25% plant cover or crop residue must be maintained on all areas within 100-feet of a river or intermittent/perennial stream. If 25% cover cannot be maintained alternative best management practices must be implement for the area.
    4. The written plan must be available at the farm.


    5.    Example of a farm without a riparian buffer. This is exposing
          the stream to manure & soil runoff.

  3. Earth Disturbance Activities Other Than Plowing, Tilling and Animal Heavy Use Areas
    1. Earth disturbance activities other than those associated with plowing, tilling and animal heavy use areas (i.e. construction of barns, construction of silos, construction of manure storage facilities, etc.) are subject to standard erosion and sediment control requirements (see the Erosion & Sediment section of our website for more details).
    2. Disturbances of one (1) acre or more are subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permitting requirements.


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