Erosion Control and Storm Water Management
Please contact Thomas Sweeney if you have any questions regarding the information on this page or if you would like to report activity that may be subject to Erosion Control or Storm Water Management Permit requirements.
Note: Effective December 1, 2009, in response to increasing sediment in storm water ponds and lack of an established process to regulate sediment removal and use, the DNR has developed an innovative new rule to help those who own storm water ponds manage the removal and use of sediment from those ponds. Information on the new rule, NR 528, and what is required from those responsible for sediment removal may be found on the DNR website http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/waste/nr528.html .
Rock County Erosion Control and Storm Water Management Program
In March of 2004, The Rock County Board of Supervisors adopted the Rock County Construction Site Erosion Control Ordinance (Chapter 4.11 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances) and the Rock County Storm Water Management Ordinance (Chapter 4.8 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances). These two programs are administered by the Rock County Land Conservation Department. View ordinances.
What part of the County do these Ordinances effect?
The provisions of these ordinances apply in all unincorporated lands within the jurisdictional boundaries of Rock County where a town board has not adopted an ordinance under sec. 60.627, Wis. Stats. As of April 2010, the Town of Beloit administers their own Erosion Control and Storm Water Management Ordinances. Therefore, the County’s ordinance are not administered in Beloit Township. Please contact the Town for further information regarding their program if you are working in their jurisdiction.
The County’s Erosion Control and Storm Water Management ordinances also continue in effect in any area annexed by a city or village, unless the city or village enacts, maintains and enforces an ordinance that complies with minimum standards established by the DNR and meets or exceeds the standards of these ordinances, as established under sec. 59.693 (10), Wis. Stats.
What permits are required?
On this page, you will find the combined application for applying for an Erosion Control Permit (regulated under Chapter 4.11 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances) and/or a Storm Water Management Permit (regulated under Chapter 4.8 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances). The application includes an Erosion Control Application Checklist and a Storm Water Management Checklist to guide a developer, builder or landowner through the steps to take to reduce soil erosion on disturbed sites and, in some cases, development plans to permanently manage runoff from the site after construction is complete. If your project is located within 300 feet of a navigable stream or within 1000 feet of a lake, pond or flowage, it is located within the Shoreland Zoning District. Depending of the scope of the project, a Shoreland Permit or Shoreland Conditional Use Permit (regulated under Chapter 4.2 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances) may be required from the Rock County Planning and Development Agency for any earth moving and land disturbance activities, in addition to permits issued under Chapter 4.8 and 4.11. See below for a further explanation.
Do I need a permit?
Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) Permit (regulated by the Wisconsin department of Commerce) applies to single-family and two-family residential construction, and administered by the appropriate Town, Cities and Village governments within the county. You do not need to apply for Rock County Erosion Control Permit for a single-family and two-family residential construction covered under an UDC permit. However, you may need a Chapter 4.11 Erosion Control Permit for landscaping, earthmoving prior to foundation excavation, parking, sidewalks and other land disturbances not directly associated with residential building construction, that meets the thresholds below.
When do I need a permit?
You will need a Chapter 4.11 Erosion Control Permit and an approved Erosion Control Plan if your project involves any of the following:
- Grading, removal of protective cover, excavation or filling which disturbs 4,000 square feet or more of land;
- Disturbing or grading more than 1,000 square feet of land on a slope of 12 percent or greater;
- Grading, removal of protective ground cover or vegetation, excavation, or land filling exceeding 1,000 square feet or 40 cubic yards of fill near a navigable waterway, wetland or floodplain within the Shoreland Overlay District (as defined in Chapter 4.2 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances).
- Disturbing 100 feet or more of road ditch, grass waterway, or other land area where surface drainage flows in an existing water channel;
- Grading, excavating or filling more than 400 cubic yards of material;
- Constructing new public or private roads, access roads, or driveways exceeding 100 feet in length;
- Laying, repairing, replacing, or enlarging underground pipe, cable or wire for a distance of 300 feet or more (see optional General Permit for Utility Work below);
- Land disturbing construction activities relating to land division (subdivision plat, Certified Survey Map or Condominium Plats) requiring public or semi-public public improvements, or;
- Other activities that are likely to result in undue channel erosion, increased water pollution by scouring or the transportation of particulate matter, or endangerment of property or public safety.
You will also need a Chapter 4.8 Storm Water Management Permit and a Storm Water Management Plan if your project involves:
- Land Disturbance activity of 1 acre (43,560 square feet) or more;
- Land Disturbance of less than one acre but is part of a larger “common plan of development” that in total disturbs more than one acre
- Other activities that pose a serious risk of flooding or damage due to runoff as determined by the Technical Review Committee.
What is a “common plan of development”? More information may be found on this document from the Department of Natural Resources.
In addition to the Chapter 4.11 and Chapter 4.8 permit requirements, you will need a Chapter 4.2 Shoreland Conditional Use Permit if your project involves earth moving or land disturbance exceeding of 1,000 square feet or 40 cubic yards of fill near a navigable waterway, wetland or floodplain within the Shoreland Overlay District (as defined in Chapter 4.2 of the Rock County Code of Ordinances). Applications for this permit are available at the Planning and Development Agency.
Note: Some activities are exempt from Chapter 4.11 Erosion Control and Chapter 4.8 Storm Water Management Permit requirements. Review the appropriate ordinance for a listing of exemptions and exclusions. First-time applicants or first-time developers are strongly encouraged to consult with the Land Conservation Department in the initial planning stage for assistance in preparing general site plans and other submittals necessary to obtain an erosion control and/or storm water permit.
Which permit application form should I use?
The Land Conservation Department requires use of standard forms for any erosion control and/or storm water management permit.
The permit application entitled “Rock County Erosion Control and Storm Water Management Permit Application” along with the appropriate Erosion Control Application Checklist and/or Storm Water Management Application Checklist is used when applying for a Erosion Control and/or Storm Water Management Permit. If you are applying for one permit only (either Erosion Control or Storm Water Management) simply disregard the information relating to the other permit process.
The permit application entitled “Rock County Erosion Control Plan – Simplified Application” may be used for land disturbing construction activities consisting of less than one acre (43,560 square feet) of disturbed area with no portion of that disturbed area containing slope of 12% or greater and the project is not located in the Shoreland Zoning District.
What is the review process?
An Erosion Control and/or Storm Water Management permit application with attachments is filed with Rock County Land Conservation Department staff for processing. The Land Conservation Department will inform you of any deficiencies in your application and ask you to make necessary changes within ten days. Complete applications are usually reviewed within fifteen days. Once all plans and other permit requirements are met, the Land Conservation Department will approve your permit. You can pick up the signed permit and card at the Land Conservation Department office or we can mail it to you by request.
A SIGNED PERMIT CARD MUST BE POSTED PROMINENTLY ON THE SITE BEFORE ANY WORK CAN BEGIN. THE LAND CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT MAY ISSUE STOP-WORK ORDERS ON SITES WITHOUT APPROVED PERMITS.
Tools available online
On the documents page you will also find the Rock County Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is used to provide documentation for meeting the soil loss standards of the Erosion Control Ordinance. The spreadsheet is also a valuable scheduling tool to account for soil loss reduction based on limited duration of exposed soil.
The erosion control plan requires a monitoring program that is routinely inspected at least every week, and within 24 hours after a precipitation event of 0.5 inches or greater during a 24 hour period. Written reports of all inspections must be maintained. The reports must contain an assessment of the condition of erosion and sediment controls and a description of any erosion and sediment control and maintenance performed. An example of an approved inspection log is found here. This particular form is not required, but the form used must include the pertinent information.
General Permits For Private Utility Work Projects
The Erosion Control Ordinance requires erosion control permits for laying, repairing, replacing, or enlarging underground pipe, cable, or wire for distances of 300 feet or more. In order to permit these projects in a timely fashion, this General Permit option was developed. A General Permit may be issued for land disturbing activities which are subject to this ordinance conducted by or for utility companies subject to the following steps.
- General Permits may be issued to a utility company for a one-year period
- An application for a General Permit must include an erosion control plan or plans that includes the typical best management practices (BMPs) used on the installation activities conducted by the applicant. Permit fees may be paid in advance for the estimated amount of utilities to be installed for the year.
- All installation activities planned under the General Permit must meet the performance standards specified under sec. 4.1107 ordinance using technical standards under sec. 4.1106.
- Following the approval of a General Permit, permit holders must notify the LCD two working days prior to each project which will be covered under the provisions/typical construction measures of the General Permit. This notification is made using the Notification form listed below.
- LCD Staff will review the Notification form and contact the appropriate person if specific measures (beyond the typically measure included in the General Permit) need to be installed due to the location of the project.
- The inspections, enforcement, penalties, appeals, and fee schedule provisions of this ordinance shall apply to General Permits.
Please see the General Permit for Private Utility Work Application and the Notification of Land Disturbance form additional information.
It is understood that many installation techniques result in minimal soil disturbance, however there are other aspects of these projects to consider in regard to the performance standards found in the Erosion Control Ordinance. For example, sediment control devises must be implemented to prevent the discharge of sediment as part of site dewatering or the wastewater related to drilling or boring techniques. Refer to latest version of the Department of Natural Resources Technical Standard for dewatering (Code number 1061) for approved techniques.
Note: The information on this website is not intended to be all inclusive of what is required by either of the applicable ordinances. As mentioned above, we recommend reviewing the applicable ordinances completely and/or meeting with Land Conservation Staff prior to submitting an application.