Erosion & Sediment Control
- Loudoun County has numerous highly erodible soils that can be easily transported by water, which affects areas as far away as the Chesapeake Bay. Soil is called sediment when it has been transported and deposited by the process of erosion.
- Serious problems may develop when erosion happens at an unnatural pace due to clearing and grading of the land.
- The county’s steep slopes, mountainside areas, numerous waterways and a climate that produces heavy thunderstorms also significantly impact the potential for erosion.
- Developers, land owners, engineers, builders, and construction personnel must be conscientious about the development process to ensure that every effort is made to minimize land disturbance and to control erosion on construction sites.
- The law requires property owners who disturb an area greater than 5,000 square feet to apply for a Grading Permit and submit plans for review by the county. Zoned sensitive areas (Steep Slopes, Mountainside or Limestone) will likely have less of a threshold for land disturbance and require a Grading Permit as well.
- The plans submitted with the Grading Permit application must address all of the applicable Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook’s (VESCH) minimum standards for erosion control as well as Loudoun County Codified Ordinances Chapter 1220.
- Development projects are “bonded” for Erosion and Sediment Control by the Applicant and the bond held by the county as a precaution to ensure compliance with erosion control measures.
- Erosion and Sediment controls protect and preserve Loudoun County’s 15 major watersheds from potential environmental damage as a result of development.
The Erosion and Sediment Control Program has provided the following documents that are generally required for the submission and approval of the county’s soil disturbing permits:
- Grading Permit Application Packet (PDF)
- Letter of Permission - Offsite Grading (PDF)
- Wetland Digital Data Submission Form (FSM 8.111) (PDF)
- Wetland Digital Data Requirements (FSM 8.111.A.6) (PDF)
- Delegation of Authority Form (PDF)
- Erosion & Sediment Enforcement Protocol (PDF)
- Grading Bond Release/Reduction Procedure (PDF)
- Erosion & Sediment Grading Permit Bond Estimate (PDF)
- If you see soil that is eroding off-site onto adjacent land,into streams, creeks and ponds, or is being tracked onto public streets, contact the Natural Resources hotline at 571-440-1986.
- For drainage problems on new homeowner lots or questions about new proposed construction sites, contact the Loudoun County Engineering hotline at 703-777-0116.
- For health issues concerning mosquito control or similar public health concerns, contact the Loudoun County Health Department at 703-777-0234.
- If you are concerned about flooding or dumping into storm drains or creeks, contact the Loudoun County Public Works Stormwater Hotline at 703-777-0117.
Information pertaining to erosion and sediment control requirements and applicable permits from other jurisdictional agencies is available online:
- Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District: General Conservation Information
- Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation: Soil and Water Conservation
- Virginia Department of Environmental Quality: Wetland Permits