The City of Pocatello has recently re-committed to an education campaign regarding Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) issues within the city limits. The City of Pocatello is required to comply with all state and federal laws, rules and regulations, including the Clean Water Act, and has an obligation to the community to enforce Pocatello Ordinance 8.44 Construction Site Sediment and Erosion Control.
Primary concerns are the lack of stabilized construction entrances, limiting track out from sites, concrete washout, properly posting the yellow ESC permit card, dust during dry and windy weather, storage of construction materials in the right-of-way, soil stockpiles, and water availability for the site. The City of Pocatello Building and Engineering Departments are working in conjunction to bring awareness to the issues and coordinate enforcement of the requirements of the ordinance.
Once a building permit has been approved, several steps must be completed under the direction of the permittee and/or the Certified ESC Person. The yellow ESC permit card must be prominently displayed on the lot for which the permit was issued so the public can read it without trespassing. All ESC Best Management Practices (BMP) shall be in place prior to any excavation. Due to the amount of noncompliance, all sites will now require a city ESC inspection of the installation of the ESC BMP prior to any excavation. If an inspection is scheduled and the inspector arrives to find that no BMPs have been installed, the inspection will be rescheduled to a later date and an additional fee may be assessed. ESC BMPs shall include the following, at a minimum:
- Stabilized Construction Entrances shall be installed. Entrances should include 3 to 4-inch of 3-inch minus rock or grates, preferably where the driveway would be installed. The construction entrance must be cleaned throughout the course of construction.
- Silt fencing or barrier shall be installed along the length of the lot frontage adjacent to the road to prevent any vehicles from entering or leaving the site and avoiding the construction entrance. The other lot lines should have silt fence or barriers to control runoff from the constructions site and vehicle travel.
- All downhill slopes must have BMPs installed. Properly installed BMPs such as silt fence or waddles are required on all slopes and at the toe of the fill slope or a diversion trench must be dug on site. Water, mud, or debris should not leave the site.
- Water availability for the site must be verified for dust control; it is strongly suggested to install a frost-free hydrant and meter on the lot to provide temporary water during construction. Concrete washout is required to be managed on-site. When possible, a pump truck should be used. Adjacent lots are not to be used for concrete washout, unless owned by the permittee. If an adjacent lot is used, BMPs must also be placed and inspected on the adjacent lot. Concrete washout is not allowed to reach city flow lines or storm drains. Washout pits must be large enough to contain the anticipated waste. No construction or landscaping materials are to be stored on public roads.
- Soil stockpiles that will not be used for 14 days must be covered or protected with a stabilizer. Stabilization can be via tackifier, mats, plastic, or seed and mulch.
- Prevent vehicles leaving the site via any location other than the construction entrance. Additionally, damage to curbs and sidewalks should be prevented. Certificate of Occupancy (CO) may be withheld until repairs are made to any damage done to curbs, gutters, sidewalks, or roadways.
Under Pocatello Ordinance 8.44.160 Administrative Enforcement, in addition to any other remedies, the City of Pocatello may hold a person or permit holder in violation. Enforcement of the ordinance will be initiated with a correction notice or notice of violation which details the corrective action to be completed, along with a time frame for completion. The time frame will typically be 24 hours or by the end of the next business day. If the corrective action requested in a correction notice or notice of violation is not completed in the specified time period, a stop-work order and/or violation may be issued. Knowing violations of any provision or failure to comply with any requirements shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00, imprisonment up to 6 months, or both. Each day on which a violation occurs may constitute a separate criminal offense. Additional administrative costs may be assessed to the property owner/permittee of the site if any administrative action is undertaken.
Any violation that is deemed to be a nuisance by the City of Pocatello, according to Pocatello Ordinance 8.44.180, may be remedied by the City and civil actions may be taken to compel payment by the owner of the property or the permit holder. Costs incurred by the City of Pocatello may result in a lien upon and against the property or the forfeiture of the contractor’s bond. In addition to those remedies, the City of Pocatello may take civil actions for violations and seek costs as part of that action.
If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact Richard Bigelow, Building Official at (208) 234-6160 or Merril Quayle, Public Works Engineer at (208) 234-6228. We look forward to your anticipated cooperation.