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Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Plans and Approvals

Find out if you require an ESC Plan for your project

Small Sites (less than 0.4ha of land will be exposed to erosion)
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*.
  1. Contact 311 to determine if an ESC Plan or Good Housekeeping letter is required.
  2. 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  
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.

NOTE: 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.

Medium to large sites (more than 0.4ha of land will be exposed to erosion)
Total site size ESC Plan requirements / communication with The City
Equal to or greater than 0.4ha, but less than 65ha
  1. Submit an ESC Application via email to ESC@calgary.ca
  2. After the review process is complete, an Approval letter may be issued by The City and is required prior to the commencement of construction.
Equal to or greater than 65ha
  1. Submit an ESC Application via email to ESC@calgary.ca. It must include: 
    • A Phasing Plan Drawing (ESC10) which clearly shows how the soil disturbance area is to be limited to 65ha at any one-time during development of the site. 
    • An ESC Large Site Safety Plan that is available to staff working on the construction site.
  2. 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


ESC Plan application form and support documents

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

ESC Plan application

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

For best functionality, we recommend you download this form and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

ESC Plan application instruction manual

This document applies to the old ESC Application form.

It provides a detailed explanation of requirements for each section and sub-section.

ESC Standard specifications

The specifications set out requirements for construction site erosion and sediment control in Calgary. Use them as a reference when creating ESC Plans. The specifications form part of all approved Erosion and Sediment Control (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.

ESC Guidelines

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

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

ESC Plan supporting tools

Section 12.0 Non-standard erosion and sediment controls or support practices

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

Section 5.4 Sediment contaiment system information

To make adding Sediment Containment System information easier to provide, The City created this expandable excel table.

Section 9.0 Drawing requirements

ESC Application Drawing requirements can be found here.

LS3 calculator

To make calculating LS values for your site's ESC Plan more streamlined and consistent, The City has created a LS3 Calculator.

RUSLE calculator

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

Sediment system design

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.

ESC inspection form

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

How to submit your ESC Plan

Submit ESC applications digitally to ESC@calgary.ca or your respective reviewer. Please note the following:

A digital ESC Plan should consist of four PDF documents in the following file breakdown.

Title Content examples
ESC Application Fillable PDF
ESC Drawings Digital drawings (ESC1 - ESC10)
Geotechnical Documents Geotechnical report, letters, nomographs
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 Kathryn.Chin@calgary.ca for assistance.

Note: hard copy applications are no longer required nor accepted.

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

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 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.

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