Erosion and sediment control (ESC)
Soil erosion from building, development and construction sites is a major source of stormwater pollution. If it enters our waterways, sediment (such as soil, sand, silt, mud) and litter washed from urban areas can cause both short and long term environmental problems.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 places a legal responsibility upon all persons who cause land disturbance to minimise or prevent environmental harm.
Property developers and other development industry members such as consultants and contractors are also subject to requirements under the Planning Act 2016. This includes development conditions requiring adequate erosion and sediment control measures to be implemented and maintained on construction sites.
Brisbane City Council investigates water pollution resulting from the release of sediments from building and development sites.
If you don't take appropriate erosion and sediment control measures, you can receive on-the-spot fines ranging from 20 penalty units to 50 penalty units or up to 100 penalty units for development related offences.
As at 1 July 2019, the value of a penalty unit is equal to $133.45. The fine amount must be rounded down to the nearest dollar after the calculation. For example, the fine amount for an infringement of two penalty units is: 2 x $133.45 = $266.90. The rounded down fine amount is $266.
Prosecution and court penalties for major development and environmental offences may apply.
Brisbane City Plan 2014
Requirements and standards relating to erosion and sediment control for new development are contained in Chapter 7 of the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy of Brisbane City Plan 2014.
Erosion hazard assessment (EHA) form
Certain types of development activity under City Plan may require an Erosion hazard assessment (EHA) form as part of the planning approval process. In such cases, the EHA form must be submitted with the application. All applications for a material change of use, reconfiguration of a lot or operational work (where not previously addressed) which will result in land disturbance or exposure of soil must include a completed EHA form.
A person who is suitably qualified to assess the potential erosion risk of the development is required to certify this form. A suitably qualified person is outlined in the Erosion hazard support technical notes.
- Erosion hazard assessment form (PDF - 60kb)
- Erosion hazard assessment supporting technical notes (PDF - 60kb)
Erosion and sediment control (ESC) design certificate
An erosion and sediment control design certificate is required as evidence that a suitably qualified professional has reviewed the erosion and sediment control program and plans for a project and can verify that the plans meet current industry best practice techniques and will effectively mitigate sediment migration from the project site. It is required for any project assessed as 'medium' or 'high' risk according to the Erosion hazard assessment form and is required to be completed and lodged with Council at least 10 days prior to the prestart meeting or commencement of site works.
Erosion and sediment control (ESC) inspection certificate
An erosion and sediment control inspection certificate is required as evidence that a suitably qualified professional has reviewed the erosion and sediment control construction and implementation for a project and can verify that the construction is in accordance with the certified design, meets current industry best practice techniques and will effectively mitigate sediment migration from the project site. It is required for any project assessed as having a 'high' risk according to the Erosion hazard assessment form. An ESC inspection certificate is required to be completed and held on site for inspection by Council officers until all exposed soil areas are permanently stabilised against erosion.