Soil Erosion – Laws

Q: I have heard there are new laws about soil erosion that affect our son’s landscaping business. Does he have to have a permit to even change out seasonal flower beds, extend existing ones or add new beds?

A: It’s true. Georgia House Bill 285 states that anyone, including landscapers, who is involved with land disturbing activities must be certified in erosion and sediment control practices. There are exemptions for home gardeners and minor land disturbances.

According to Mary Kay Woodworth, executive director of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association, “Although seasonal color installation and landscape maintenance may appear to fall into the minor land disturbance category, my opinion (based on conversations with members of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals) is that anyone who uses a shovel and moves dirt needs to be certified.” Details at

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