Erosion Control Permits and Information:
- When a permit is required
- Erosion Control Permit
- Fee schedule
- Process Flowchart
- Tree Harvesting in Orange County What you Need to Know brochure
- Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control as outlined in the Unified Development Ordinance
- North Carolina Erosion and Sediment Control Planning and Design Manual
- Small-scale Solutions to Eroding Streambanks
- Backyard Stream Repair Workshops
- New Stormwater Requirements
- Stormwater Management Plan Review Fee
- Current Nutrient Offset Fees
- Stormwater Management Programs as outlined in the Unified Development Ordinance
- Rain Gardens for Orange County
- Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual - Division of Water Resources (DWR)
- Surface Water Identification (SWID) Request Form
- NCDWQ Identification Methods for the Origins of Intermittent and Perennial Streams
- Eno River Watershed Surface Water Quality Management Project (Hillsborough Area)
- Stormwater pollution
- The NC Cleanwater website provides information on North Carolina water quality issues.
(The linked files in the following paragraph are large. Please be patient while the map downloads.)
Orange County Watershed-Erosion Control-Stormwater-Nutrient Matrix and Map
In general, whenever clearing and grading will exceed 20,000 square feet (roughly 1/2 acre) an Erosion Control Plan must be submitted for approval; and a land disturbance permit must be obtained before any land disturbing activity begins (including timbering, demolition, clearing, or grading, etc.). However, if the site is within either the University Lake, Cane Creek, or Upper Eno watersheds (Erosion Control & Stormwater Requirements For Land Disturbance Activities FAQs), a permit is required for any grading exceeding 10,000 square feet (approximately 1/4 acre) and may be required for any disturbance depending on site specific factors. A waiver may be issued by the Erosion Control Division for land disturbances of less than 10,000 square feet.
The Erosion Control Permit application form must be included with the plan submittal. The application form consists of two parts:
1. Applications for Erosion Control Plan Approval and Land Disturbance Permit
2. Statement of Ownership and Financial Responsibility
NOTE: Bonafide agricultural, forestry, and mining are exempt activities (see Section 6.15 of the Orange County Unified Development Ordinance). These activities are regulated under state and federal authority. Forestry, Bona Fide Farm, and Development Clearing Information
Stormwater Management Plan:
Section 6.14: Stormwater Management of the Orange County Unified Development Ordinance states that a Stormwater Management Plan must also be submitted for any new development or land-disturbing activity exceeding the thresholds noted in the Watershed Matrix Table. The requirements apply to all new development within the Orange County planning jurisdiction, including private, public, state, and federal development not covered by a separate NPDES permit. Stormwater Management Plans must address the following:
- Protection of riparian areas
- Nitrogen and phosphorus load contributions
- Peak flow attenuation for the 1-year, 24-hour storm
- Control and treatment of runoff generated by one inch of rainfall from all project area surfaces
- Engineered stormwater controls with a minimum 85% removal of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) for projects that exceed nutrient export thresholds
Neuse Buffer Rules:
The State of North Carolina has designated Orange County as the delegated authority to administer the Neuse Buffer Rules within Orange County’s Neuse River Basin, outside the Town of Hillsborough and it surrounding Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Located in the northeast portion of the county, the Neuse River Basin is comprised of the Upper Eno, Lower Eno unprotected, Lower Eno protected, Little River and Flat River sub-basins. Neuse buffered streams have a 50’ riparian buffer, however under the Orange County Unified Development Ordinance, these watersheds have a stream buffer overlay with a minimum 65' buffer requirement. Orange County reviews all proposed Neuse Buffer impacts in accordance with the Neuse Buffer Rules. Buffer impacts are categorized as exempt, allowable, allowable with mitigation, or prohibited. See the Orange County Unified Development Ordinance for the complete table of uses and other Neuse Buffer related issues.
The non-Neuse River Basins include the Roanoke Basin in the extreme northwest portion of the county (approximately 10 square miles comprised of the Hyco Creek and South Hyco Creek sub-basins) and the Cape Fear Basin in the western and southern portions of the county (comprised of the Back Creek, Haw Creek, Cane Creek, Haw River unprotected, Haw River protected, University Lake, Jordan Lake unprotected and Jordan Lake protected sub-basins). All non-Neuse buffers are a minimum of 65' wide (130' total width). See the Orange County Unified Development Ordinance for additional information.
Surface Water (Stream) Identification:
The presence of a stream buffer can affect proposed land use such as driveways and building locations. The county has, in the Planning Department, a base map of all known streams. Anyone who wishes to dispute the map may request staff to "field" or "ground" truth the stream. Staff will use methodologies and criteria developed by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality to determine if the stream feature shown on the map is indeed subject to buffer requirements.
So why do we care about stormwater? Quite simply...North Carolina's number one water quality problem is stormwater runoff pollution. As stormwater flows across impervious (i.e. paved) surfaces or exposed soil, it picks up various pollutants, such as oil & grease, excess nutrients, bacteria and sediment. Polluted stormwater flows down our storm drains and ditches where it is discharged, untreated, into our streams, rivers, and lakes. Stormwater runoff pollution causes adverse impacts to aquatic ecosystems, poses human health risks, and can greatly increase the cost of treating our drinking water. For more information about stormwater pollution and stormwater resources contact by phone at (919) 245-2587 or email.
Development Related Burning Information:
OPEN BURNING PROHIBITED - Effective SEPTEMBER 16, 2003 Per Orange County Unified Development Ordinance. Open burning of trees, limbs, stumps, and construction debris is PROHIBITED in Orange County for all activities associated with the development of a subdivision and/or any other permitted land-disturbing activities. This does not include activities involving the production and management of agricultural or forestry products.