The Van Buren County Drain Commissioners office is the State of Michigan's county designated agency for the “Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act” (SESC), Part 91, Public Act 451, 1994 (as amended by 2000 PA 504). The county SESC program is supervised and audited by the Michigan Department of Environmental Qualulity. The primary objective of Part 91 is to prevent sediment transport to waters of the state and off-site.
Soil erosion caused by moving wind and water is an important factor in Van Buren County. Approximately 74,100 cropland acres are eroding faster than the land can tolerate and be expected to remain productive. These areas lose 15,819,400 bushels of soil each year – amounting to some 213 bushels of topsoil washed or blown from each acre. Soil erosion occurs throughout the county wherever soil is exposed to the effects of wind and moving water. Wind erosion has been described as severe in the Southwest quarter of the county. (USDA, Soil Conservation Service).
The Soil Erosion County Enforcement Agent (CEA) is responsible for the administration, management and enforcement of the provisions of the Act. The CEA has the responsibility of overseeing all non earth change activities within Van Buren County, that are one or more acres in area of disturbance and/or within 500 feet waters of the state. The CEA administers more than one hundred permit applications annually with permit fees accounting for the primary source of funding for the program. Private single family residences and outbuildings comprise the majority of permit applications followed by plat developments, commercial/industrial projects and agriculturual construction activities.
Exemptions for practices under other state laws such as MDEQ permits do not apply to Part 91 unless stated in such laws. Other state/local agencies, tax exempt properties and agricultural projects may be required to apply for a SESC permit. Exemptions for agricultural practices only include plowing and tilling.
Contact Information: Andy Abbott, SESC Supervisor
Phone: 269-657-8241 Ext. 3