Erosion and Sedimentation Act

While Glynn County has incorporated the state of Georgia’s Erosion and Sedimentation Act (O.C.G.A. Chapter 12-7) into the building code, that is probably an inappropriate limitation. The state’s intent is obviously to address any soil disturbance other than normal agricultural and forestry practices. But, Glynn County has conveniently washed its hands of soil disturbance by shifting plan review to the Satilla Soil and Water Conservation Board and ignoring follow up inspections entirely.

Regardless, the ordinance is on the books and worth quoting, at least in part. That the prescriptions are not being followed is another matter. The end result is that our coastal environment is being degraded to no-one’s benefit. Why? Laziness. Whose? Irresponsible agents, unjust stewards at every level.


Excerpts from soil erosion and sedimentation control ordinance. The Local Issuing Authority is Glynn County and the responsible party is supposed to be the County Engineer.



•. (3)  Buffer means the area of land immediately adjacent to the banks of state waters in its natural state of vegetation, which facilitates the protection of water quality and aquatic habitat. 

(18) Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Plan means a plan required by the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, O.C.G.A. Chapter 12-7, that includes, as a minimum protection at least as stringent as the State General Permit, best management practices, and requirements in Section 2-5-103 C of this ordinance.

(47) State Waters means any and all rivers, streams, creeks, branches, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, drainage systems, springs, wells, and other bodies of surface or subsurface water, natural or artificial, lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of Georgia which are not entirely confined and retained completely upon the property of a single individual, partnership, or corporation. (#O-2016-17)
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D) Authority to adopt greater requirements. Nothing contained in O.C.G.A. 12-7-1 et. Shall prevent any Local Issuing Authority from adopting rules and regulations, ordinances, or resolutions which contain stream buffer requirements that exceed the minimum requirements in subsections (B) and (C) of this section.

0. The Local Issuing Authority may, in accord with standards to be established by the Local Issuing Authority, require the permit applicant to post a bond in the form of government security, cash, irrevocable letter of credit, or any combination thereof up to, but not exceeding, $3,000.00 per acre or fraction thereof of the proposed land-disturbing activity, prior to issuing the permit. If the applicant does not comply with this ordinance or with the conditions of the permit after issuance, the Local Issuing Authority may call the bond or any part thereof, as provided in 2- 5-106 (C). These provisions shall not apply unless there is in effect an ordinance or statute specifically providing for hearing and judicial review of any determination or order of the Local Issuing Authority with respect to alleged permit violations. (#O-2016-17)

6. The Local Issuing Authority may reject a permit application if the applicant has had two or more violations of previous permits or the Erosion and Sedimentation Act permit requirements within three years prior to the date of the application, in light of O.C.G.A. 12-7-7 (f) (1). (#O-2016-17)

• (B)  The Local Issuing Authority must amend its ordinances to the extent appropriate within twelve months of any amendments to the Erosion and Sedimentation Act of 1975. 

(C)The County Engineer shall have the power to conduct such investigations as it may reasonably deem necessary to carry out duties as prescribed in this ordinance, and for this purpose to enter at reasonable times upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of investigation and inspecting the sites of land- disturbing activities.

(6) Forestry land management practices, including harvesting; provided, however, that when such exempt forestry practices cause or result in land-disturbing or other activities otherwise prohibited in a buffer, as established in 2-5-103(C)(15) and 2-5- 103(C)(16) of this Ordinance, no other land-disturbing activities, except for normal forest management practices, shall be allowed on the entire property upon which the forestry practices were conducted for a period of three years after completion of such forestry practices; (#O-2016-17)

Exempt entities are exempt from applying for and getting permits, but not from following best practices.

‘(D) Authority to adopt greater requirements. Nothing contained in O.C.G.A. 12-7-1 et. Shall prevent any Local Issuing Authority from adopting rules and regulations, ordinances, or resolutions which contain stream buffer requirements that exceed the minimum requirements in subsections (B) and (C) of this section.

(B) For each site on which land-disturbing activity occurs, each entity or person acting as either a primary, secondary, or tertiary permittee, as defined in the state general permit, shall have as a minimum one person who is in responsible charge of erosion and sedimentation control activities on behalf of said entity or person and meets the applicable education or training certification requirements developed by the Commission present on site whenever land-disturbing activities are conducted on that site. A project site shall herein be defined as any land-disturbance site or multiple sites within a larger common plan of development or sale permitted by an owner or operator for compliance with the state general permit.