Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control

The Drain Office will be closed from 12:15 p.m.-3:00 p.m. for an off-site meeting today, May 28, 2024.

The Oceana County Drain Commissioner’s Office is responsible for enforcement of the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act, Part 91 of P.A. 451, 1994 as amended. This office is also responsible for an ordinance to establish rules and regulations to control soil erosion and sedimentation, to establish a system of permits for the regulations of earth changes, implementation, and enforcement, and to establish a system of fees, penalties & civil infractions for violations of the ordinance.

What is Soil Erosion?

Soil erosion is the process by which the land surface is worn away by the action of wind, water, ice, or gravity or a combination thereof.  Soil particles are dislodged or detached and set into motion.

What is Sedimentation?

Sedimentation is the action or process of depositing particles of waterborne or windborne soil. Sediment is one of the leading sources of non-point source pollution in the waters of the state. Sediment can cover critical aquatic habitat for fish and insects. Sediment also has nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen attached to it, which in turn increases nutrient levels in the water. Increased sediment in watercourses can create raised water levels and block the flow of water through culverts creating potential flooding problems. One of the most common causes of sedimentation is the poor maintenance of erosion controls.

When is a Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control (SESC) Permit Needed?

A SESC permit is needed for all earth changes within 500 feet of a lake, stream, wetland, or drain or an earth change that disturbs 1 or more acres of land as required by Part 91 of P.A. 451, 1994 as amended.

It is important to protect the County’s valuable water resources. By preventing erosion and sediment in run-off from construction sites; sedimentation of storm drains, wetlands, and streams is controlled.

A SESC plan and permit fees must be included with the Permit Application when submitted. Please find the permit forms and documents available for download below.

Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control (SESC) Permit Documents

Soil Erosion Permit Application

SESC Permit Application Instructions

2024 Updated SESC Fee Schedule

Oceana County SESC Ordinance of 2003- Revised 2015

LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION  (Permits are in the landowner’s name. Use this form if an agent or contractor will be obtaining the permit for the landowner.)

SESC Permit Transfer Form (For use when there is a property transfer while an existing SESC permit is open)

SESC Waiver (for use when there is less than 225’ of earth disturbance)

SESC Permit Extension Application

SESC Frequently Asked Questions


Other Considerations

The State of Michigan has designated two rivers in Oceana County as “Natural Rivers” – The White River and the Pere Marquette River. In an effort to protect the natural quality, they are regulated by zoning rules through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Please see the link below for Natural River Zoning if you are along either of these two rivers.

Under the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994, PA 451, as amended, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regulates the following:

  • Part 301 – Inland Lakes and Streams (dredging, filling, placement of structures (seawalls/docks) connecting ditch or canal to an inland lake or stream)
  • Part 303 – Wetlands Protection
  • Part 323 – Shorelands Protection and Management
  • Part 353 – Sand Dunes Protection and Management

Contact the Drain Commissioner


Michelle Martin Drain Commissioner

John Warner, P.E. Deputy Drain Commissioner

Main Phone: (231) 873-3887

Fax: (231) 873-5914

Address Oceana County Building
100 S. State Street, Suite M-11
Hart, MI 49420

Hours Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Occasionally closed from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM for lunch

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