Chapter 251: Protecting Soil Resources for Water Quality
In 1975, the State Legislature passed Chapter 251, P.L. 1975, the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act of New Jersey. This legislation gave local conservation districts the power to control soil erosion and sedimentation by requiring the submission of a Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for almost all soil disturbances over 5,000 square feet.
Within the legislative findings of Chapter 251 is this statement:
“The Legislature finds that sediment is a source of pollution and that soil erosion continues to be a serious problem throughout the State, and that rapid shifts in land use, from agricultural and rural to non-agricultural and urbanizing uses, construction of housing, industrial and commercial developments, and other land disturbing activities have accelerated the process of soil erosion and sediment deposition resulting in pollution of the waters of the State and damage to domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational, fish and wildlife, and other resource uses. It is, therefore, declared to be the policy of the State to strengthen and extend the present erosion and sediment control activities and programs of this State for both rural and urban lands, and to establish and implement, through the State Soil Conservation Committee and the Soil Conservation Districts, in cooperation with the counties, the municipalities and the Department of Environmental Protection, a Statewide comprehensive and coordinated erosion and sediment control program to reduce the danger from storm water runoff, to retard non-point pollution from sediment and to conserve and protect the land, water, air and other environmental resources of the State.”
In as much as the land disturbance activities outlined in the legislative findings are one of the primary causes of soil erosion and sedimentation, the Ocean County Soil Conservation District maintains a staff of erosion control and conservation specialists whose primary responsibilities are the review of erosion control plans submitted by applicants, and the performance of on-site inspections to insure that approved erosion control practices are followed. In the course of those inspections, OCSCD staff are on the site of single and multi-family unit subdivisions, commercial and industrial sites, roads, utilities, public construction, mining, quarrying, landfills, land grading, and bulkheading sites.
OCSCD staff are also available to engineers and developers in Ocean County for consultation and guidance in following the mandates of the New Jersey State Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control.
New Jersey Department of Agriculture
State Soil Conservation Committee and Soil Conservation Districts
The Natural Resource Conservation programs provide engineering services and regulatory guidance to soil conservation districts, homeowners, engineers, planners and virtually all development activities. The Division provides technical standards applicable to construction and mining sites regulated by the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act program and policies and procedures associated with the Stormwater Permitting program. In addition, the Division conducts Conservation Education programs such as the Envirothon, and Poster and Bumper Sticker Contest. These programs are designed to promote the conservation of renewable resources.
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Conservation Education
- NJ Erosion Control Standards
- Conservation Districts in New Jersey
- NJ Department of Environmental Protection Construction Stormwater Permit Phase II
- Policies and Rules
- Technical Resources
Division watershed staff work in partnership with State, County and Local agencies in the development of watershed models for Regional Stormwater Management Planning.