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Sediment Control Inspections: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is it necessary to have a grading permit?

A. If the proposed grading disturbs over 5,000 square feet of surface area or over 100 cubic yards of fill material is utilized, a permit is required.

Q. Can small amounts of grading be done anywhere?

A. No, State and County regulations protect environmentally sensitive areas, for example, tidal waters and marshes, watercourses, wetlands, floodplains, stream and forest buffers, and habitat protection areas.

Q. Are construction sites required to prevent sediment run-off?

A. Yes, State and County regulations require property owners and holders of permits to install measures that will filter water run-off.

Q. If a construction site appears to have installed sediment control devices, does it mean they are not working if muddy water leaves the site?

A. No, sediment control measures provide temporary retention to allow deposition of heavier sediment particles, fine particles remain in suspension and discolor the water run-off.

Q. Who decides what kind of sediment control practice is used on large projects?

A. Large projects are designed by professional engineers hired by the landowner. A plan is designed based on standards and specifications for soil erosion and sediment control from the Maryland Department of Environment. Baltimore County's Soil Conservation District reviews and approves the plan and Baltimore County inspects the actual work for compliance with the plan.

Revised June 13, 2017         


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