This image shows the improper use of a silt fence for erosion control practices.

Chapter 251: Protecting Soil Resources for Water Quality


Soil Restoration Standards

In accordance with P.L. 2010, Chapter 113, the State Soil Conservation Committee has revised its Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey to include provisions for mitigating the negative impacts of soil compaction on construction sites subject to review and regulation by the New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, N.J.S.A. 4:24-39, et seq. These provisions have been included within Sections 8 (Topsoiling) and 19 (Land Grading) of the Standards. (

Effective December 7th, 2017, any application submitted to a local Soil Conservation District for erosion and sediment control plan certification must include provisions to mitigate potential soil compaction in accordance with the revised Standards. Previously certified Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plans, plans eligible for re-certification and minor revisions are not subject to the adopted amendments. There are 11 identified exceptions outlined on page 19-2 of the Land Grading Standard.

Click here for the State of New Jersey, Department of Agriculture, NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Program website:(

The following are useful documents associated with the new Soil Restoration Standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Topsoiling Standard (Section 8)

Land Grading Standard (Section 19)

Soil Restoration Notes Required on Plans for Soil De-Compaction and Testing Requirements

Soil Compaction Mitigation Verification Form

Sample Soil Restoration Plan Image

Guidelines for the Use of a Static Cone Penetrometer

Applicability of Soil Restoration to Urban Redevelopment 2018

Soil Restoration Inspection Verification Procedure

soil restoration applicability to SFH

The 2014 NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards are now available on the NJ Department of Agriculture’s website. Please follow the link to The Department of Agriculture’s website: to download a copy of the standards. To review the memo from The Executive Secretary of The State Soil Conservation Committee “click here”. For a quick reference guide to the changes in the Standards for Erosion and Sediment Control, please see the following overview.”

Department of Agriculture
State Soil Conservation Committee
Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act Rules
Adopted Rules: N.J.A.C. 2:90-1
Effective Date: February 20, 2014
Expiration Date: December 8, 2017

Click on the pdf below to view the newly adopted rules regarding the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act”

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.

Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act of New Jersey

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.

Division watershed staff work in partnership with State, County and Local agencies in the development of watershed models for Regional Stormwater Management Planning.

 New Jersey’s Black-Out Dates For Fertilizer Use:

Help spread the word – but NOT the fertilizer!

As the weather turns colder, applying fertilizer makes little sense. The ground is hard and grass has stopped growing. It’s also against the law.

Former Governor Chris Christie signed one of the nation’s toughest fertilizer laws and it sets standards that are designed to protect New Jersey’s waterways from nutrient pollution. One feature of the law is that it determines when fertilizer can and cannot be used. Referred to as “Black-out dates,” when fertilizer cannot be applied.

The reason for the black-out dates is a common-sense approach to water quality protection. When the ground is frozen, the possibility is greater for having runoff from fertilizer, as well as leachate into groundwater, impair the State’s surface and groundwater quality.

New Jersey’s fertilizer law also established a new content standard for fertilizer that is reducing excess nutrient runoff by decreasing the total amount of nitrogen in fertilizer and increasing the amount of slow release nitrogen. As of January 5 of this year, all fertilizer products for turf now contain at least 20 percent slow-release nitrogen, and zero phosphorus unless a soil test demonstrates a need for more.

The law also created a fertilizer application certification program for professional fertilizer applicators, through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University and in consultation with the DEP.
The certification program was launched by Rutgers University in late 2011.

To learn more about ProFACT (Professional Fertilizer Applicator Certification and Training effort), go to:

The DEP worked with members of the Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters Workgroup and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University to implement the fertilizer law. To learn more about the law’s components and
status, visit:

Implementation of this law is also part of former Governor Christie’s 10-point action plan to protect and restore Barnegat Bay. To learn about how this law is being carried out in the Barnegat Bay watershed, visit:

Help spread the word – but NOT the fertilizer, and help protect and restore New Jersey’s water resources.


For general information regarding the NJDEP RFA permitting process please visit their website at


Please visit the NRCS website for the most recent 24 hour rainfall totals.

Ocean County Soil Conservation District
714 Lacey Road
Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 971-7002