Erosion and Sediment Control

Program Overview

The mission of the Erosion and Sediment Control (E&SC) Program is to allow development within our state while preventing pollution by sedimentation.

In cooperation with the Sedimentation Control Commission and pursuant to the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973, the Erosion and Sediment Control Program:

Why is it important to prevent erosion and sedimentation?

Erosion is the detachment and movement of soil particles by water, wind, and ice. Sedimentation is the process by which eroded soil is deposited into water bodies or onto land surfaces. Natural erosion occurs primarily on a geologic time scale, but when human activities alter the landscape, the erosion process can be greatly accelerated.

Each year, thousands of acres of land in NC are exposed during the course of construction and development. Without protective practices, the land is left vulnerable to the ravages of wind and rain. The four types of soil erosion on exposed terrain are: splash, sheet, rill/gully, and stream/channel erosion that strip the land of the nutrient-rich topsoil. This causes soil degradation such as decreased soil productivity and increased loss of soil structure.

Sediment that erodes from these exposed areas accumulates in lakes, natural watercourses, and on adjoining properties. When sediment travels off-site with runoff into water bodies, it can accumulate on the bottom, harm aquatic life, increase turbidity, and restrict the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants. Sediment can also decrease the storage volume of water bodies and clog sewer storm drains which can increase the potential of flooding. Sediment in our water also increases the costs of power production and of treating municipal drinking water.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) can be used to control erosion and prevent off-site sedimentation, thus reducing water pollution due to sedimentation.

Related Information

There are two available Listservs to stay up to date with E&SC information in NC :

  • Listserv run by E&SC Program staff for those interested in being notified regarding rule amendments, rule proposals, public hearings, and public comment periods. To subscribe, use the Denr.dlr.erosion.sediment.interested.parties listserv site. 
  • Sediments Listserv run by the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of the UNC System. This listserv is used to advertise E&SC training information, the Sediments newsletter and share other related information. To subscribe, follow the Sediments listserv directions on the WRRI Listservs page.


Information on upcoming workshops will be posted here as it becomes available. 

2020 E&SC Designer Workshops

Presented by: N.C. DEQ – Land Quality Section
In partnership with: Southeast Chapter – International Erosion Control Association (SE-IECA) and NCSU Department of Crop & Soil Sciences

The in-person workshops originally scheduled for October 1 in Hickory and December 3 in Raleigh have been canceled. In its place, a series of free one hour weekly webinars is being planned and will run from the beginning of October through mid-December.

Registration and agenda information will be posted to the workshop's event page as it becomes available. 

2020 Local Program Workshop

Presented by: N.C. DEQ – Land Quality Section
In partnership with the NC Water Resources Research Institute

The 2020 workshop has been canceled

This event is specifically for the local government programs that have delegated erosion and sediment control programs; registration and workshop information will be sent directly to these programs. 

SCC 2020 Meeting Dates

  • Feb. 20, 2020
  • May 12, 2020 - Will be held online via WebEx
  • Aug. 11, 2020 - Will be held online via WebEx
  • Nov. 5, 2020

For more information on the SCC and the quarterly meetings refer to the SCC webpage.

Contact Information

If you have questions or concerns related to erosion and sediment control or off-site sedimentation from construction in NC, contact:

You can also refer to our Erosion and Sediment FAQs page for answers to common questions.