Erosion and Sediment Control

In accordance with the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law, Regulations, and Certification Regulations, DEQ implements the state Erosion and Sediment Control program (effective July 1, 2013) to help prevent destruction of property and natural resources caused by soil erosion, sedimentation and nonagricultural runoff from regulated 'land-disturbing activities.'   Erosion caused by excessive water runoff is one of the most severe types of erosion in developing areas.

ESC regulations specify the 'minimum standards' that must be followed on all regulated activities including: criteria, techniques and policies.  State law explains the rights and responsibilities of local and state governments to administer erosion and sediment control programs, as well as those of property owners who must comply with them.

A network of local government programs regulate most private projects involving a land-disturbing activity, while DEQ oversees state and federal activities.  However, property owners are ultimately responsible for erosion and sediment control plan approval and implementation.  Responsibility for ensuring compliance also extends to the developer, contractor, consultant and the public.

Construction Sites

 Problems associated with construction activities, like soil erosion, water pollution, flooding, stream channel damage, decreased ground water storage, slope failures, and damage to adjacent or downstream properties can be successfully minimized by implementing erosion and sediment control measures on construction sites.  These measures help prevent soil movement or loss, enhance project aesthetics and eliminate appreciable damage to off-site receiving channels, property and natural resources.

Assistance and Complaints

When reporting a possible violation of the Erosion and Sediment Control Law and regulations, citizens may contact the locality in which the observed violation occurred, or the DEQ regional office.

Additional information is available on:

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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