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Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Authorizations for construction sites

The code of practice for erosion and sediment control outlines what type of authorization is required from The City.

Total site size ESC requirements Forms required for submission
Greater than 2.0 ha

ESC Approval letter

  • Follow Section 3 of the Code of Practice
  • An ESC Plan that contains all the information outlined in Schedule A of the Code of Practice

Schedule A – ESC Plan application

Sites between 0.4 – 2.0 ha

Notice to proceed letter

  • Follow Section 4 of the Code of Practice
  • An ESC Plan that contains all the information outlined in Schedule A of the Code of Practice
  • A written notice that contains all the information outlined in Schedule B of the Code of Practice

Schedule A – ESC Plan application

Schedule B – Written notice

  • Sites greater than 0.4ha where less than 0.4ha will be disturbed;
  • Sites less than 0.4 ha with characteristics that indicate greater than normal ESC concerns; or
  • A series of two or more discrete locations where no individual locations exceeds 0.4ha.

Good housekeeping letter

  • Follow Section 5 of the Code of Practice
  • Comply with the requirements outlined in Section 5

Schedule C – Good housekeeping letter request

Sites less than 0.4ha
  • Follow Section 5 of the Code of Practice
  • Comply with the requirements outlined in Section 5
None
Amendments for sites operating under an ESC Approval Letter or a Notice to Proceed
  • For sites operating under an ESC Approval letter follow Section 3(7) Minor Change and/or Section 3(8) Major Change
  • For sites operating under a Notice to Proceed letter follow Section 4(9)

Schedule D – ESC Plan amendment

Prior to starting construction on sites greater than 0.4 ha, you must complete a Schedule E – Pre-construction meeting request to obtain Written Permission to Commence Construction. Refer to Section 8 of the Code of Practice.

You require written permission prior to stopping erosion and sediment control inspections on any site 0.4ha or greater in size. Use the  Schedule F – Inspection completion request form to request permission to stop inspections.

How to submit your ESC Plan

Submit all ESC authorizations digitally to ESC@calgary.ca. This includes first submissions for stripping and grading.

Take the following steps before submitting your ESC Plan for stripping and grading to ensure your submission will be accepted into the queue for review and approval.

Application type ESC Plan application Written notice
  • Stripping & grading development permits
  • Stripping & grading development agreements
  1. Ensure the file has either a DP or DA#. If you don’t know the DA# you may provide an SB# during the review stage.
  2. If the file is DP, the ESC Prior to Release (PTR) condition has been assigned to the DP.
  3. Confirm the construction boundary map submitted as part of the land use authorization (DP, DA or SB) matches the boundaries shown in the ESC Plan. These two boundaries must match.
  1. Ensure the file has either a DP or DA#.
  2.  If the file is DP, the ESC Prior to Release (PTR) condition has been assigned to the DP.
  3. Confirm the construction boundary map submitted as part of the land use authorization (DP, DA) matches the boundaries shown in the ESC Plan. These two boundaries must match

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

Naming conventions

Email subject lines

Follow the email subject line naming conventions listed below to ensure communications are properly directed when submitted to ESC@calgary.ca.

Process Email subject line – mandatory naming convention Form required
ESC approval

ESC Plan (File number and name)

e.g. ESC Plan (DP2023-XXXXX Erosion Street Multi-family)

Schedule A – ESC Plan application

Notice to proceed Written notice (File number and name)

Schedule A – ESC Plan application

Schedule B – Written notice

Good housekeeping Good housekeeping request (File number and name)

Schedule C – Good housekeeping letter request

Amendments Amendment (File number and name)

Schedule D – ESC Plan amendment

Pre-construction meeting Pre-construction meeting request (File number and name)

Schedule E – Pre-construction meeting request

Inspection completion Inspection completion request (File number and name)

Schedule F – Inspection completion request

ESC Plans

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’s target review timeline for ESC Plans is 14 business days. It is common for ESC Plans to require one or two resubmissions 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 authorization process which can often take anywhere from three to 12+ weeks.

The City’s target review timeline for written notices and good housekeeping letters is seven business days. To avoid delays, ensure the written notice contains all the information required in Schedule B of the Code of Practice.

ESC authorization forms and supporting documents

The Code of Practice for erosion and sediment control  comes into force on May 8, 2023. Any submissions received prior to this date must follow the 2022 process. Any documents received after this date must comply with the requirements outlined in Section 2 of the Code of Practice. 

Expand the menu items below to view which documents are relevant to you depending on the date of first submission.

  • Authorizations approved using the 2017 Standard specifications will continue to follow those documents. 
  • Applications in flight using the 2022 Application and application instruction manual will continue to follow that process.
  • Submissions after May 8, 2023 must comply with the Code of Practice

ESC Authorization forms (Schedules A-F)

These fillable forms align with the requirements of the Code of Practice. 

ESC Plan application instructions

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

Date in Force for First Submissions
May 8, 2023 June 1, 2022 2017

2023 Instruction manual for erosion and sediment control in Calgary

2022 Application instructions

superseded

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. 

Date in Force for first submissions
May 8, 2023 June 1, 2022 2017

2022 Standard specifications

2022 Standard specifications

2017 Standard specification

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.

Date in Force for First Submissions
May 8, 2023 June 1, 2022 2017

2022 ESC Guidelines

2022 ESC Guidelines

2017 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.


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​