Information Sheet: Why You Should Consider Hiring a Contractor Certified in Erosion and Sediment Control

date: January 2012          contact: Bill Laflamme (207) 215-9237

Background

Due to the high rate of soil erosion that occurs on areas disturbed by construction, the use of effective erosion control practices is critical to protecting the quality of Maine waters. That is why the Maine Legislature passed the State’s Erosion Control Law. To help contractors comply with this law protecting Maine waters, DEP has developed a training program on effective erosion control techniques. Known as the Voluntary Contractor Certification Program, it is coordinated by DEP's Nonpoint Source Training and Resource Center. While aimed at preventing nonpoint source pollution from construction activity, it also creates an incentive for Maine contractors to become educated on erosion and sedimentation control best management practices. And the more they know, the more you (and Maine’s environment) benefit!

Qualifications Of Certified Contractors

To become certified, a contractor must complete a basic and advanced course on Erosion Control Best Management Practices. In addition to providing information on environmental laws and on the reasons why erosion control is needed, this course includes sections on erosion and sediment control materials, vegetative stabilization, slope stabilization, culvert installation, ditch stabilization and erosion control planning. On completing this course, the contractor must have one of his or her construction sites inspected to demonstrate “hands on” understanding of erosion control principles. Certification is granted only if this inspection indicates that the contractor is knowledgeable in these practices.

Benefits of Hiring a Certified Contractor

There are many benefits to hiring a certified contractor to conduct your project, not the least of which is having some assurance that the excavation work will be done in an environmentally sound manner. In some cases, certified contractors may be able to get your project completed more quickly since the department has afforded them the ability to forgo the 14-day waiting period for Stream Crossing Projects under the Permit-by-Rule program. In short, by hiring a certified contractor, you are sending the message that water quality protection is important to you, while expediting the work!

Hiring a Certified Contractor

The Department maintains a list of certified contractors (showing names, addresses and phone numbers) that is updated continuously. There are certified contractors located in all parts of the state, and chances are there is one near you. You can obtain this list by contacting the Department’s Nonpoint Source Training and Resource Center (215-9237) or by accessing the list on the Department’s Web site.

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