Frequently asked questions

Do I need a Land Disturbance Permit?

A Land Disturbance Permit is required when:

  1. Land disturbing activity disturbs one ore more acres of land.
  2. Land disturbing activity of less than one acre of land if such activity is part of a larger common plan of development that affects 1 or more acre of land.
  3. Land disturbing activity of less than one acre of land, if in the discretion of the municipality/county poses a unique threat to water, public health or safety because the activity by itself or of a cumulative effect negatively impacts water quality.
  4. The creation and use of borrow pits.
  5. The creation and use of stockpiles greater than fifty cubic yards in volume.

How do I get a Land Disturbance Permit?

  1. Fill out the LDP Application for the municipality in which the project is located.
  2. Prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) specific to the conditions and activities at the project site.
  3. Take the completed LDP Application and SWPPP to the Macon County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for review and to pay the permit/inspection fee. The SWCD will issue a LDP fee receipt. **If the project is outside of municipal boundaries, you can jump to Step 4. 
  4. Take the application and the fee receipt to the appropriate office and they will issue the LDP.  Applications and fee receipts should be delivered to the appropriate address below:

  • Macon County : Planning & Zoning Department, 141 S. Main St., Ste. 501, Decatur, IL 62523
  • City of Decatur: Engineering Department, #1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur, IL 62523
  • Village of Forsyth: 301 S. US Route 51, Forsyth, IL 62535
  • Village of Mt. Zion: 1400 Mt. Zion Parkway, Mt. Zion, IL 62549

How much does a Land Disturbance Permit cost?

  • Land disturbing activity that disturbs 1 or more acres of land: $250 for the first 5 acres, additional $50 per acre after that.
  • Land disturbing activity of less than 1 acre that is part of a larger planned development that affects more than 1 acre of land: $50 for review and inspections.
  • Land disturbing activity of less than 1 acre that poses a unique threat to water, public health or safety: $100 for review and inspections.
  • Construction or operation of a borrow pit: $25 for review and filing fee.
  • Operation of a stockpile: $50 for review and filing fee.

I've got the Land Disturbance Permit. Now what?

Now it's time to put the plan into action. 

  • Before you begin clearing, grubbing or disturbing the land, install the BMPs as described on your SWPPP.  
  • Call the inspector to set up an initial site inspection. The inspector want to help keep you in compliance!
  • Keep the SWPPP handy at the construction site for workers and inspectors to review.
  • Maintain the BMPs and keep an eye out for any adjustments that need to be made to prevent soil from escaping from the construction site.
  • If deficiencies are found during an inspection, repair them in the allotted time and follow up with the inspector.

What happens during a sediment and erosion control inspection?

A staff person from the Macon County Soil and Water Conservation District will visit your construction site to evaluate the effectiveness of the sediment and erosion control BMPs.  The erosion control inspector wants to help you stay in compliance!! 


If the BMPs are not effectively controlling sediment and erosion, the SWCD staff person will advise you on how to improve their effectiveness.  After adjustments are made, a follow up site visit will be made to reevaluate the site controls.  


If inadequate action is made to improve erosion and sediment loss, a non-compliance report will be sent to the MS4 municipality who may issue fines or a stop work order. 

Can I request a sediment and erosion control inspection to make sure my BMPs are adequate?

ABSOLUTELY!!  While the erosion control inspector makes periodic visits to construction sites, you can always request assistance if you feel you need it! We want to help you stay in compliance and protect our soil and water resources.

What happens if I don't put up any erosion control measures?

Your local MS4's stormwater ordinance lays out penalties which can occur if there are violations or the stormwater ordinance. Typically the penalty includes a fine for each day the violation occurs and the potential for a stop work order to be issued.

What can go down the storm drain?

Only rain or unpolluted drinkable water should go down the storm sewer drain. Your local MS4 stormwater ordinance includes a list of all discharges allowable to storm sewers. They may include footing or foundation drains, groundwater, such as from sump pumps, and dechlorinated, pH neutral swimming pool water.