Office of Drain Commissioner

SESC: When is an SESC Permit Required?

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) Permit is required for the following activities:

  • Project involves an earth change of over an acre or more. A SESC permit will be required prior to obtaining a building permit.
  • Project is within 500 feet of a lake, stream, river, County drain or other body of water. To check if your project falls within the 500 ft. limit, please click  HERE to view a map, or call the SESC Office for assistance  269-384-8117 .
  • Project is within 250 feet of a wetland. To check if your project falls within the 250 ft. limit, please click HERE to view a map, or call the SESC Office for assistance 269-384-8117
  • Building an agricultural/accessory building. Agricultural activity such as construction or clearing which will disturb more than one (1) acre of land or is within 500 feet of a lake, stream, river, county drain, wetland (250ft) or any other body of water, will be require a permit. Plowing and tilling of land for crop production or the harvesting of crops are exempt.
  • Gravel Pits for the mining of gravel & sand.
  • Filling/cutting and land balancing.
  • Digging a pond over an acre (1) in size and/or within 500 ft of a body of water.
  • Trenched/Excavated Utility Installation over an acre (1) in size and/or within 500 ft of a body of water.
  • Permit Waiver - A Permit Waiver (also considered an Affidavit) for an earth change within 500 feet of a lake or stream may be granted after receiving a signed affidavit from the landowner stating that the earth change will be stabilized within 24 hours of initial earth disturbance, that the project will disturb less than 225 square feet of earth, and that the earth change will not contribute sediment to a lake or stream.
    Landowner/Applicant's signature must be notarized. Notary is available in the Office.

Permit or Permit Waiver may be required:

  • Building permit applications for items such as decks, porches, swimming pools, seawalls, small additions, and small accessory buildings generally do require a SESC permit. Please call our Office at 269-384-8117 to be advised.

Notes to Applicant:

A landowner or developer who contracts for, allows or engages in an earth change in the County shall obtain a permit from the Soil Erosion Control Agent prior to commencement of an earth change which disturbs one or more acres of land or if the earth change is within 500 feet of a lake, river or watercourse of this County.

If the applicant is not the landowner, the applicant must submit a letter signed by the landowner that designate him/her as the responsible person for the final seeding & site stabilization. Any earthwork requiring SESC Control Permit that commences prior to permitting shall pay double the original fee. (See Fee-Schedule)

The landowner/applicant (person signing the application) is legally responsible for the final stabilization. If the property is sold, the legal responsibility remains with the applicant unless the buyer signs the Transfer Permit and/or Transfer Permit Obligation to take over all responsibility for installing the required final seeding & stabilization. A copy of that signed Transfer Permit and/or Transfer Permit Obligation must be submitted to the Soil Erosion Control Agent & the township before the permit expires.

An earth change activity that does not require a Soil Erosion Permit is not exempt from the enforcement procedure under Part 91 of Public Act 451, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

All sites over 1 acre disturbed with stormwater discharge to water of the State will be required to apply for a Notice of Coverage (NOC) with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) after receiving the SESC Permit. (see address below)

Potential Additional Permits:

All sites over 5 acres disturbed must have a licensed Stormwater Operator on-site. That person must be listed on the application as the on-site contact. Contact EGLE for the Notice of Coverage (NOC) & National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

EGLE Kalamazoo District
7953 Adobe Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: 269-567-3500

Contact Us

Jason Wiersma
Drain Commissioner

Zeña Vos
Chief Deputy Drain Commissioner

Physical Address
201 West Kalamazoo Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Phone: 269-384-8117

Office Hours
8:00am - 4:00pm
Monday - Friday

Closed on Holidays