LEWISBURG — Homebuilders and contractors preparing sites for new homes in Union County have some rules to follow to combat runoff during the winter season, according to the Union County Conservation District.

• Any inactive areas of exposed earth must be stabilized. Usually, inactive means that no earth-moving equipment has altered an area for four or more days.

• Snow does not count as stabilization. While snow does provide temporary ground cover, it eventually melts, and it can do so rapidly and unevenly. Especially when combined with rain, the chances of forming concentrated runoff flows are quite high.

• Covering exposed earth with materials like a tarp also does not count as stabilization. In this case, the tarp only acts to increase runoff, especially if any type of slope (such as on the sides of a soil stockpile) is being covered.

• Don’t count on vegetation for stabilization. During other seasons, some seed mixes will grow within several days of planting. However, with the unpredictability of winter, waiting for seeds to sprout is a losing endeavor.

• Straw mulch is the standard recommended by DEP for temporary stabilization of exposed earth in PA during winter. Avoid applying it when the ground is very hard or covered in snow. Come spring, focus on seed and mulch together.

Most home sites have between 5,000 square feet and 1 acre of earth disturbance. Within this range, an Erosion and Sediment (E&S) Plan for projects should be on file with the county conservation district. Applications can be found at https://www.unioncountypa.org/departments/conservation-district/forms/page.aspx?id=1824. Contact Jody Gibson at (570) 217-6423 with any E&S questions or concerns.

— The Daily Item

Trending Video