Soil Erosion Permits

If you meet any of the following criteria, you need to apply for a soil erosion permit (see below for application).

Michigan Requirements


 Public Act 451, Michigan Environmental Protection Act, Part 91 Soil Erosion and Sedimentation requires a permit if your site involves excavating, filling, grading, building, etc. and the site is:
  • Within 500 feet of a lake or stream
    • Lake means the great lakes and all natural and artificial inland lake with a surface area of water that is equal to or greater than 1 acre.
    • A stream means a river, creek or other surface watercourse that has continued occurrence of water
  • Disturbing more than 1 acre (43,560 square feet)

County Requirements


The Grand Traverse County Soil Erosion, Sedimentation Control Ordinance amended requires a permit if your site is/ has:
  • A commercial site: All land uses except for 1 family detached dwelling
  • Within 100 feet of protected wetlands: Land characterized by the presence of water sufficient to support wetland vegetation (These are protected by Part 303, Wetland Protection of PA 451)
  • Slopes of 10% or greater: A 10% slope means that the ground rises 1 foot vertically for every 10 feet horizontally
  • Heavy clay soils: Commonly termed hardpan clay and soils classified in hydrologic group D in the Soil Survey
  • Township/Development Required: Some townships require soil erosion permits as do some developments (subdivisions / site condominium, etc.)
  • Drain easement on site or the site is within a Drainage District: If there is a retention pond or drainage facility on your site, or bordering it, you need a permit (In addition, if your site is within an established Drainage District, you also need a permit)

Documents & Resources


For More Information


If you are not sure if any of the above definitions apply to your site, please contact Grand Traverse County Soil Erosion and we will be happy to assist you.