BMPs on Construction Sites, Involving Citizens, Builders and Developers
Cuyahoga County, OH

Grantee: Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $15,000
Non-federal Funds: $44,371
Project Duration: 06/1996 - 12/1997
Status: complete

Problem Statement
For several years, citizens living and working in developing areas have been aware of the need for soil erosion controls on construction sites. However, they are not knowledgeable of the specific BMP information or know where to go to create changes in the existing system.

Silt fence halting erosion on construction site

This grant is intended to inform citizens and the building industry about the value of applying good conservation practices to active construction sites. In general, the public has become more aware of the need for soil erosion control on construction sites. This project will also provide these citizens with the information needed to evaluate the sites about which they are most concerned. They can then work with their locally elected and appointed officials to control the soil, sediment, and attached pollutants coming from active construction sites.

The material created by this project will inform interested citizens about the soil erosion controls available for construction sites. The new materials will also help encourage developers and builders to use the appropriate best management practices (BMPs) on their construction sites during the bare earth phase of construction. This is a critical form of conservation marketing because studies have shown that soil erosion on construction sites is 10 to 100 times greater than any other land use.

In addition, Ohio's standards and specifications for construction site BMPs have recently been revised. The development community and land use professionals need to be informed of this revised handbook and trained on how to use it. The workshop planned under this proposal will satisfy this need.

One of the proposed tasks was to produce seven, two page BMP job sheets written for average citizens, contractors, developers, and builders. These address the most effective soil erosion and sediment control BMPs for construction sites. Because of the high cost, only five job sheets were completed.

Two different booklets, one written for builders and the other for developers, were produced. These booklets addressed issues such as the NPDES Permit process, preparing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, the inspection process, and maintenance of installed BMPs.

These documents were mailed to the 492 locally elected officials and the 1,740 public and private engineers, developers, and builders on the Cuyahoga SWCD's mailing list. The same material was distributed to interested citizens and to permit holders in Cuyahoga County on the Ohio EPA's list of Construction Site Permit holders. Additionally, the SWCD held a training workshop for engineers and related land use professionals which introduced attendees to the new Ohio urban BMPs handbook. Not only did attendees receive the new handbook, but they had access to 8 distributors of BMP products and services. Representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Ohio EPA, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation Service gave presentations. Project personnel reached over 5,000 developers, builders, local elected officials, engineers and contractors through the booklets and workshop. They hope to reach an additional 1,000 elected officials and citizens beyond the grant period.

Vegetative cover on building site

The publications, job sheets and booklets, were distributed to over 2,000 elected officials and land use professionals in the Cuyahoga SWCD as well as conservation site permit holders in the county and the interested public. The publications won the 1997 All Ohio Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society's "Outstanding Publication" Award. The publications were advertised by the International Erosion Control Association and as a result, the Cuyahoga SWCD received requests from Australia (3), Bangkok Thailand (1), Canada (6), and from several other US states. One city engineer asked for 300 of the Critical Area Planting job sheets to give to all of his home builders. The training workshop introducing the new Ohio urban BMPs had 140 attendees.

Contact: Jim Storer, (216) 524-6580


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner