Keyword Site Search

Georgia Requires Erosion Certification

That's a lot of silt fence! Contractors in Georgia installed fence to protect every square foot of this site, following a well-thought-out plan.
Photo: Peter Romocki,

Landscape contractors in Georgia have until Dec. 31 to become certified in the art and science of erosion control. All American contractors, however, are required to comply with federal erosion mandates--although specific rules vary by state.

What does the county's explosion of development have to do with the health of the streams, rivers, marshlands and beaches of Georgia?


The clearing of land for landscaping and development causes soil erosion. Erosion is a natural process that removes land material, usually by the action of wind or water and carries it to another location. Human activity can often make this erosion a significant problem by greatly magnifying the amount of sediment passing into the ecosystem, overwhelming Mother Nature’s built-in checks and balances.

When more erosive material is deposited in waterways than can be handled naturally, the waterways begin to degrade, causing a cascade of negative effects on wildlife, fisheries, drinking water supplies and transportation, among many others.

Intact and robust wetlands serve as a strong buffer to storm flooding and erosion, as well as support nature-based businesses and tourism. Without healthy rivers, wetlands and beaches, Georgia could kiss goodbye most fishermen, kayakers and visitors who come to the state and support local businesses. Preserving wetlands isn’t only smart ecologically, it’s smart financially.

Fortunately, the state of Georgia recognizes this and has imposed a law to protect wetlands from excessive erosion.

In 2003, the state Legislature passed several changes to the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act, one of which requires individuals involved in land-disturbing activities to have erosion and sediment control certifications by Dec. 31. Persons involved in land disturbing activities who will be affected by the new state requirement include landscape contractors and irrigation contractors, along with those in the construction industry and utilities. Others who must be certified include persons who design plans for, review, inspect or monitor land development or construction activities.

Those who are not certified by that date may be forced to pay fines or have building permits revoked by the state Environmental Protection Division.

Camden County businesses and individuals who are involved in land-disturbing activities need not look far to fulfill the requirements of the new law. Coastal Georgia Community College is offering courses for three levels of certification on different dates in September, October, November and December.

Level 1A is required for on-site personnel such as contractors, superintendents, heavy equipment operators, monitoring consultants and landscape and irrigation contractors. Level 1B is for those who will be inspecting sites for erosion and sediment control compliance and Level 2 is for designers who must create erosion and sediment control plans.

To register or for more information, call (912) 264-7260 or (800) 603-1278.

To learn about Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) requirements in other states, visit

Source: Camden County (Ga.) Tribune & Georgian

Search Site by Story Keywords

Related Stories

June 16, 2019, 10:41 pm PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.
Privacy Policy