Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Plans and Approvals

Find out if you require an ESC Plan for your project

Total site size ESC Plan requirements / communication with The City

Less than 0.4ha:

Without characteristics that indicate greater than normal ESC concerns*.

You do not require an ESC Plan or communication with The City but you must:

  • Develop and follow an informal erosion and sediment control drawing and implement good housekeeping practices to prevent offsite transport of sediment by natural or mechanical forces.
  • Designate a Qualified Inspector to inspect all erosion and sediment control practices a minimum of every seven (7) days and at critical times when erosion or sediment releases could occur.
  • Adhere to the  Standard Specifications - Erosion and Sediment Control

Less than 0.4ha:

With characteristics that indicate greater than normal ESC concerns*

Contact 311 to determine if an ESC Plan or Good Housekeeping letter is required.

After a review process, either an Approval letter or a Good Housekeeping letter may be issued by The City and is required prior to the commencement of construction.

Equal to or greater than 0.4ha:

Less than 0.4ha exposed to erosion  

Submit a Good Housekeeping Request via email to ESC@calgary.ca including: 

  • Project name; 
  • City project number (e.g. DP#/CD#/DA#);
  • Project owner (must have name, phone, email);
  • Brief description of planned work, with specific focus on soil disturbance activity; 
  • Disclose if the site indicates any greater than normal ESC concerns;
  • Site size in hectares;
  • Disturbed soil area size in hectares including access roads and laydown areas; and 
  • A basic map showing the extent of the site boundaries, critical areas, and soil disturbance (including access roads/laydown areas). Show the area size (in hectares) for both the total site area as well as the soil disturbance area. 

After the review process is complete, a Good Housekeeping letter may be issued by The City and is required prior to the commencement of construction..

Equal to or greater than 0.4ha
Refer to the How to submit your ESC Plan section below.

After the review process is complete, an Approval letter may be issued by The City and is required prior to the commencement of construction.

* Greater than normal ESC concerns could include adjacent environmental reserves, steep slopes leading directly to natural waterbodies, or other abnormal ESC risks

The City reserves the right to request an ESC Plan or Good Housekeeping letter on any site that is less than 0.4 ha if The City believes there is potential of an adverse effect to property, infrastructure, health, safety, or the environment.


How to submit your ESC Plan

Submit ESC applications digitally.

Application type 1st Submission Resubmissions
Stripping & Grading Development Permits & Development Agreements

Email to the project’s assigned Engineering Generalist

Email to ESC@calgary.ca

Development Permits City Projects  

Email to ESC@calgary.ca

Email to ESC@calgary.ca

Note: Within three business days, electronic submissions will receive a confirmation email with a review timeframe. Contact us at ESC@calgary.ca if you have applied and did not receive this confirmation within that time period.

A digital ESC Plan must consist of four PDF documents with the following mandatory naming conventions and content. Use the appropriate land use application number (e.g. CD, DA, DP, DL) The example below shows a Development Permit.

Title - Mandatory Naming Convention Content examples

DP-2022-XXXXX Project Name - ESC Application 

Fillable PDF

DP-2022-XXXXX Project Name - ESC Drawings 

Digital drawings (ESC1 - ESC10)

DP-2022-XXXXX Project Name - Geotechnical Documents 

Geotechnical report, letters, nomographs

DP-2022-XXXXX Project Name - Attachments 

Photos (combine into a single PDF), specifications, haul routes, permission letters, etc.

The maximum file size is 20MB, if your file exceeds this size, contact ESC@calgary.ca for assistance.

Timelines for obtaining ESC Plan approval

The City commits to reviewing each ESC Plan submitted to The City within 14 business days. It is common for ESC Plans to require two or three submissions before an ESC Approval letter is granted and construction can begin. Avoid delays to your construction start date by scheduling adequate time for the entire ESC Plan approval process which can often take anywhere from three to 12+ weeks.

ESC Plan application form and support documents

An ESC Plan consists of the ESC Plan application form, drawings, required documentation and the relevant ESC Standard Specifications.

This year, we have updated our ESC documents and will be switching to the 2022 process for new applications starting on June 1, 2022. Refer to the following table for clarity on timelines associated with the process updates.

Application Timelines
Date First Submission Resubmissions
Immediately - May 31, 2022

2017 Application or  2022 Application

Same Application as initial submission or 2022 Application

June 1, 2022

2022 Application

Same Application as initial submission or 2022 Application

View a recording of the 2022 Document Updates presentation from April 28, 2022 

A Qualified Designer must either use and follow all 2017 or all 2022 documents, the document are not interchangeable. Review the Application Timelines table above to determine which versions of the documents can or must be followed.

2017 Document Type 2022

2017 Application

ESC Plan application

This fillable form is required for all ESC Plans. The application will inform which drawing you will be required to submit with your plan.

2022 Application

2017 Application Instructions

ESC Plan application instructions

This document provides a detailed explanation of requirements for each section of the application.

2022 Application Instructions

2017 Standard Specifications

ESC Standard Specifications

The specifications set our requirements for construction site ESC in Calgary. Use them as a reference when creating ESC Plans. The specifications form part of all approved ESC Plans and must be followed during all stages of construction. 

Your plan must align with the general requirements section, and any specific erosion control or practice you are using must follow the implementation, maintenance, inspection, and removal requirements outlined within this document. 

2022 Standard Specifications

2017 ESC Guidelines

ESC Guidelines

The guidelines provides an introduction to ESC principles, local regulatory requirements, ESC Plan design requirements, and considerations.

The guidelines are intended to support the planning and design stages of ESC projects in Calgary.

2022 ESC Guidelines

ESC Plan supporting tools

Section 6.0 Non–standard erosion and sediment control practices

To add additional non-standard erosion and sediment controls or support practices to your designs, include this section with your application.

Section 9.2 RUSLE Calculator

To make RUSLE calculations more streamlined and consistent, The City has created a RUSLE Calculator.

Section 9.3 Inspection Form

All inspection forms must be available onsite for a City inspector to review. Download a fillable WORD form.

Section 9.4 Sediment Containment System Information and Sediment System Design Information Sheet

To make adding the Sediment Containment System information easier to provide, The City created this expandable Excel table. Sediment containment systems are a cost-effective way to influence your P-value and slope length using skill-sets and equipment found on most sites. Download this information sheet to learn more.

Section 11.0 Drawing requirements

ESC Application Drawing and RUSLE requirements can be found here.
Example Drawings and RUSLE Calculations

ESC Inspections

ESC practices must be inspected and documented by a Qualified Inspector at least every seven days, and at critical times when erosion and sediment release could occur, such as after windy weather, significant precipitation or melt events. Find out more about ESC inspections.