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Since 1976, New Jersey has required the management of soil erosion and stormwater from virtually all non-agriculture, construction-based soil disturbances through its adoption of the NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act (N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq). Implemented by the Department of Agriculture (NJDA)and the state’s soil conservation districts, (Districts) the Act requires all construction activities greater than 5,000 square feet to be developed in accordance with a plan to control erosion during construction. The plan must also ensure that erosion will not occur once construction is completed. These land disturbance activities include (but are not limited to) such things as residential and commercial development, transportation and utility infrastructure, public facilities and mining.

A suite of design practices, known as “Standards”, are used by engineers and architects to develop “erosion control plans” which are reviewed and subsequently certified by local soil conservation districts. District staff inspects these sites to verify compliance with the plan. Districts and the NJDA work cooperatively with local and state government as well as with the development community to ensure effective manage of soil and water resources during construction.

The current edition of the Standards, revised in 2017, contains 32 practices. Ten focus on the establishment of vegetation as a means to stabilize soil after disturbance. The remaining twenty-two standards address either temporary control measures or permanent engineering designs for the safe conveyance of runoff offsite and downstream of the site.

Hydrologic and stormwater management data associated the plans is collected by conservation districts and uploaded to the Departments new web database, the NJ Hydrologic Modeling Database.

Soil Restoration on Construction Sites in New Jersey – New!

In accordance with P.L. 2010, Chpt. 113, The Soil Restoration Act, NJDA has modified its Top Soil and Land Grading Standards to address requirements for soil restoration on construction sites where soils may have become compacted. The goal of restoration as stated in the Act, is to enhance the establishment of vegetation used to provide permanent soil stabilization. In general, these changes include the following:

Top Soil-

  • a depth of 5.0 inches, firmed in place is required (5.0 inches was previously recommended)
  • a cross-reference to permanent vegetative stabilization standards has been added which requires additional, intensive measures such as additional organic matter, aeration etc., should vegetative stabilization fail to achieve a minimum of 80% coverage

Land Grading –

  • definition of areas subject to restoration measures (some areas due to structural, engineering or safety reasons may be excluded)
  • Requirement to graphically depict areas subject to testing and restoration on the erosion control plan
    • Option to test subsoil (prior to application of topsoil) for compaction. If testing shows subsoils are compacted, then remediation is required through deep tillage at least 6” into the subsoil prior to topsoiling.
    • Soil Compaction Mitigation Verification form must be filled out and submitted to the district showing either test results or restoration measures were taken.
    • These requirements must be incorporated into all soil erosion and sediment control plan applications submitted to any local soil conservation district on or after December 7th, 2017. These requirements are not retroactive to previously certified plans, nor do they apply to plans that are in the process of review by the local district.
    • In order to aid the preparation of soil compaction mitigation plan requirements, you may download an example site plan (copywrite protected). In addition, a set of condensed notes and general details has been prepared and should be incorporated onto the erosion control / compaction mitigation plan. These notes may be copied and pasted directly, or maybe modified stylistically to harmonize with the plan being prepared. Text content should not be altered.

    • The Department has also prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document as well as a Technical Bulletin to assist in plan preparation and compliance with subsequent site inspections by the local district.

      For assistance with program administration, please contact:

      Frank Minch

      Executive Secretary

      NJDA – State Soil Conservation Committee


      For technical and engineering assistance, please contact:

      John Showler, P.E

      NJDA State Erosion Control Engineer

Seventh Edition, NJ Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control, January 2014, Revised Aug. 2017 (20 MB PDF)

Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Application Form (PDF)

Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Application Form Addendum (DOC)
Printable Version (PDF)

Revised Detention Basin Summary Short Form

Short Form Use Technical Bulletin

Detention Basin Summary Long Form (DOC)
Printable Version (PDF)

Click here for the NJDEP Anderson Landuse Codes for Detention Basin Form.

2014 Erosion Control Standards Errata (PDF)