Erosion & Sediment Control / Stormwater

Erosion & Sediment Control

In 1991, Amherst County saw the need for a program to control the often damaging effects of land disturbance. In order to protect our streams and lands, the County adopted The Virginia Erosion & Sediment Control Regulations to govern land disturbance. A copy of the County ordinance can be found in the County Code, Chapter 11, Article III.  

On commercial projects which disturb more than 10,000 sq. ft. the County requires an engineered plan must be submitted and approved, along with a bond for erosion and sediment control measures, before a land disturbance permit will be issued. Please refer to the Amherst County Erosion & Sediment Control Plan Checklist to make sure you have met all the requirements when submitting your plan.
On residential projects, we can use an "agreement in lieu" of a plan for issuing a land disturbance permit. This does not relieve the owner/contractor from putting up measures to control erosion and sediment, but allows you not to have an engineered plan unless there are continued problems with erosion or sediment leaving the site. The owner is still responsible for any damage to adjoining parcel or waterways, so control measures should be in place before any construction begins.
Erosion & Sediment Control Forms


As of July 1, 2014 new regulations have gone into effect concerning the Virginia Stormwater Management Program. Previously it was thought that Amherst County would be required to become a Virginia Stormwater Management authority. Legislation out of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly (SB 423) permits many localities to allow the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to operate the program on the locality's behalf.  Amherst County has chosen to allow DEQ to operate the program on its behalf.  Amherst County will continue to operate an Erosion & Sediment Control Program.  If you are a builder or land developer, you could be required to obtain a Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authority permit for each new project from DEQ prior to issuance of a local land disturbance permit. 

The Virginia Stormwater Management Program authority (DEQ) will:

  • Review and approve Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), which consists of: Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, Stormwater Management Plan, and Pollution Prevention Plan
  • Review and approve registration statement
  • Inspect construction sites for compliance with the approved SWPPP
  • Enforce the Stormwater Management Ordinance
  • Oversee a maintenance program that ensures the post-development long-term functionality of stormwater management controls

Single-Family Detached Residential Structures

The submission of a registration statement and the development of a project-specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (including project-wide erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans) are required for a residential common plan of development or sale.  As single family detached residential properties are transferred to new owners or operators within a common plan of development or sale, the new owner or operator is automatically authorized to discharge under the general permit and is not required to submit a registration statement or the Department of Environmental Quality portion of the permit fee (additional fees to the local VSMP Authority may apply).  Operators must comply with the terms and conditions of the general permit provided that they comply with the terms and conditions of the general permit including the preparation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for each new single family detached residential structure.  

Please follow these steps:

  1. Download the Single-Family Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) template, revise to cover specifics of your project, and keep the SWPPP and documents listed below (permit, permit coverage letter, and complete Agreement in lieu of plan) on the site during land disturbance activity associated with construction of the house.
    • Single-Family Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Template (MS Word)
  2. Print this agreement, fill it out, and keep with the SWPPP
    • Single-Family Agreement in Lieu of a Stormwater Management Plan (pdf)
  3. Print this permit, and keep with the SWPPP
    • General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities.
  4. Print this letter, and keep with the SWPPP
    • Single-Family Detached Residential Structure Coverage Letter (pdf)
  5. Provide to the county proof of stormwater permit coverage by the state by showing them these documents after you have filled them out and printed them.
  6. Obtain, fill out, and sign an Agreement in Lieu of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan from the county which will become a part of the SWPPP.
  7. Apply for a land disturbance permit from the county. 

For more information on the Virginia Stormwater Management Program, including links to the Laws and Regulations, click here to go to the DEQ's Stormwater Management page.

The Blue Ridge Regional Office for DEQ is located at:

3019 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24019
(540) 562-6700
(540) 562-6725 (fax)

Click here for the Region 2000 Stormwater Flyer, which provides some information on the Why, What, and How of the Stormwater Management Program.


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Amherst County Administrative Offices
153 Washington St
P.O. Box 390, Amherst, VA 24521
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