The International Erosion Control Association administers two education and certification programs that can help reduce builders' environmental, entitlement and regulatory headaches.
The Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC ) program, established in the 1980s, covers construction-based hazards. Its post-construction counterpart, the Certified Professional in Storm Water Quality (CPSWQ) program, evolved into its current form a few years ago to cover pollution and site hydrology issues. Its purpose is to ease builder compliance with the U.S. EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II rule, which affects the smallest of job sites. (Check out www.cpesc.org for details on both.)
"I am doing quite a bit of work with residential builders," says CPESC/ CPSWQ consultant Carol Forrest, principal with Geosyntec in San Diego. "They either retain consultants that have certification or, as is increasingly the case with the biggest builders, have their in-house staff trained and certified."
Donald W. Lake Jr., CPESC and engineering specialist with New York's Soil & Water Conservation Committee, adds that better education and advance planning helps builders "recognize an increase in return with well-designed lots, preservation of buffers and less disturbed areas."