The Local Erosion & Sedimentation Control Program for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, which is operated by the City-County Inspections Division, has been honored as the 2010 Large Local Program of the Year by the North Carolina Sedimentation Control Commission and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The award comes after a concerted effort to turn around a program that was briefly put on probation five years ago.
The local program authorizes the Inspections Division to enforce state erosion-control statutes and issue erosion-control permits for construction projects. State officials periodically audit local programs to ensure they are enforcing the required standards.
Matthew Gantt, the land quality engineer for the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, nominated the program for the award because of its initiative in creating a program to control erosion from single-family house lots, which are too small to fall under state regulations. "At the time, single family homes were causing quite a bit of off-site sedimentation," Gantt said. "Jeff (Kopf, the division’s erosion control engineer) and his folks have done an excellent job."
In North Carolina, 51 jurisdictions have local programs. Each year, the Sedimentation Control Commission honors one large program and one small program for their exemplary work.
The commission put the local program on probation from December 2004 to May 2005 because of shortcomings in program administration and enforcement. The division subsequently added inspectors, implemented new procedures and worked with the City Council and the Forsyth County Commissioners to pass a new erosion control ordinance for the city and the county.