Frequently Asked Questions
How long is this going to take and how can I expedite the certification process?
Time from submission to certification will depend on how many applications are pending prior to your submission. Omissions or deficiencies in the submittal package will cause delay until they are addressed. Generally, the review process can take up to a month. Unlike a for-profit business, as a public entity we are unable to charge a premium for expedited service. All submissions follow a set fee schedule, approved by the New Jersey State Soil Conservation Committee, and are reviewed in the order they are received.
What category should I use to calculate the fee for my project?
According to the most recent Hudson Essex Passaic Soil Conservation District fee schedule, effective 3/1/2011, categories are A1, A2, B, C & D. Examples are as follows:
•A1 One single family dwelling on a lot with demolition (tear-down) or subdivision creating one new buildable lot or with offsite improvements (roads, sidewalks, detention basins, etc.)
•A2 2 or more single-family and 1 or more two-family dwellings
•B Townhouses, row houses, and multi-family dwellings of 3 or more units with private entrances and individual garages or parking. If the building does not have driveways and/or has shared entrances & parking it is considered an apartment building (use Category C).
•C Site Plans, commercial, industrial, schools, cemeteries, hotels, apartment buildings, and any other non-residential structures (including detention basins.)
•D Demolition (without rebuilding), land grading, landfills, roads, and drainage, and all other soil disturbances not involving building of a structure
Note: Parks and athletic fields will be either Category C or D. Use Category C (site plan) if the project includes habitable structures, engineered walls or detention basins. Please contact the District if you require further assistance with fee determination. Roadway improvements consisting of top milling followed by repaving may be exempt; full depth paving and/or drainage improvements disturbing over 5,000 s.f. fall under Category D.
What is the District looking for on the plan?
We require only civil drawings, not architectural plans. A Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan must show at minimum the proposed project, limit of soil disturbance, the sequence of construction with time durations, and erosion control measures. Grading, drainage and landscaping may be shown on the SESC plan or on separate plan sheets. Our county-specific Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Notes should be on the plan. Plans must be signed and sealed by a NJ Professional Engineer. A NJ Registered Architect may sign and seal the plans if no engineered structures are proposed. Please have your engineer or architect consult the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey, 6th Edition if needed for reference. Detention basin summaries, if applicable, shall also be submitted.
How many copies of the plan do I need to submit?
The HEP District requires a single set of signed and sealed plans for review and reference.
Why don’t I get a copy of my plan back?
The HEP District requires a single set of the plans for review and reference. Due to postage costs and space requirements, we neither request nor mail back additional copies of site plans. You will receive a certification letter stating that the dated plan meets Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards. A copy of the letter needs to be kept on the job site with the certified plan. The certified plan is any copy of the plan with the issue or revision date which matches the plan date stated in the certification letter.
What might cause a delay in certification?
The best way to obtain certification in a timely matter is to submit a completed application with the correct fee and signed and sealed plans. Common reasons for delay include:
•Application not signed
•Application signed by contractor without letter of authorization from owner to act as agent
•Mailing address of owner not provided or incorrect on application
•Incorrect or no application fee. Please use the current fee schedule. For Categories C & D, round up to the next whole acre to determine the fee.
•Fee check not signed, or check date is more than 60 days old, or check not made payable to “HEPSCD” or "Hudson Essex Passaic Soil Conservation District"
•Plans are not signed and sealed by a NJ Professional Engineer (PE) or NJ Registered Architect (RA)
•Soil Erosion & Sediment Control notes are not on plan
•Sequence of construction with time duration is not on plan
Additionally, if the reviewer determines that proposed soil erosion & sediment control measures are not sufficient, revisions will be requested before the plan can be certified.
My proposed house is less than 5000 square feet. Do I need to apply?
The “5000 square feet” is not based solely on the square footage of a building footprint. It is based on the total amount of soil disturbance (any demolition, footing excavation, construction vehicle access, retaining walls, tree removal, soil stockpiles, drainage improvements, re-grading, installation of utilities, walks, aprons, etc.). If the total proposed disturbance is less than 5000 square feet and your municipality requires a release (Letter of No Interest or "Exemption") from the Soil Conservation District, you may submit a Request for Determination of Non-Applicability with a copy of the site plan, plot plan or survey with the area to be disturbed marked out. There is a $50 review fee associated with this service.
I received a Start Notice. Is this telling me to start construction?
The Start Notice is to be filled out and returned to the District via fax, mail, or email. It is important to give the District all requested information for the owner and contractor so we may contact them if necessary. We request a minimum of 48 hours notice of intent to start. You may start construction when you are ready, once your plan is certified and due notice is given, provided the owner has secured all other necessary permits.
Why do I have to give notice that my project will be starting?
Notice is required by the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act. Potential for soil erosion is significant with the initial clearing of land or mobilization of equipment. Notice allows the District to make an initial inspection to verify erosion control measures are properly installed, preventing erosion and fouling of waterways.
I received a letter saying my plan has been certified. What do I do now?
The Certification Letter states that the District has reviewed your plan and certifies that it meets the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control. Complete your Start Notice and return it to the District when appropriate.
What if I can't find my Start Notice?
48-hour advance notice in writing is required. If you have misplaced the form provided with the certification letter, please click here .
How do I get an RFA?
As of 10/1/2009, the RFA (NJDEP 5G3 Stormwater General Construction Permit) is no longer sent to our office. It is now an “e-Permit”. Any qualifying project (i.e., disturbing 1 or more acres) will be issued a unique, one-time-use code by the District upon plan certification, along with complete instructions on how to apply for the RFA. The online application process can be completed the same day you receive your code, and the applicant may print a copy of the permit upon completion.
How do I get a Report of Compliance (ROC)?
Call the Soil Conservation District at (973) 364-0786 with your HEP Chapter 251 ID number (found on your certification letter) and project location, and request a Final Inspection. Click here to request a final inspection via this website.The ROC must be obtained prior to the Certificate of Occupancy (CO or TCO) from your municipality. We require a week’s notice in order to schedule a specific time for a site visit. In order to receive a Report of Compliance, you will need to have the following items completed:
•Remove all construction materials, debris, and equipment from site
•Sweep accumulated sand, mud, or soil from walkways and drives
•Remove temporary erosion control measures such as silt fencing or hay bales
•Stabilize soil according to the certified plan. Examples of final stabilization include (but are not limited to) landscaping, grass seed & hay mulch, sod, pavement, or erosion control blankets. Consult your certified plan for details, or call our office with questions regarding stabilization BEFORE scheduling a final inspection
Final inspection by the Soil Conservation District is outdoors. You need not be present unless access to the site is restricted. Paperwork will be mailed to the project owner and to the municipal construction official.
I want to get a Certificate of Occupancy, but the landscaping or other site work is not done. What do I do?
In order to obtain a Conditional Report of Compliance (CRC) during the winter months when weather conditions do not allow for landscaping to be completed, an Erosion Control Performance Bond must be placed. This must be done prior to filing for a temporary Certificate of Occupancy. A CRC may be granted during the growing season if a lawn has been seeded and mulched but has not achieved enough growth to stabilize the site permanently.