Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
May 3, 2022
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control bond
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: Between 1% to 12.5% of the bond amount per year based on the applicant’s credit history
- Bond Amount: $4,000 per disturbed acre
- Who Needs it: All persons seeking to disturb 5 or more acres of land in Durham County, North Carolina
- Purpose: To ensure the county will receive compensation for financial harm if the person violates the terms of their land-disturbing permit
- Who Requires the Bond: The Durham County Engineering and Environmental Services Department
Durham County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) 3.8.1 requires all persons performing land-disturbing activities for privately funded and non-agricultural projects, on land that is 12,000 or more square feet, to obtain a permit from the Engineering and Environmental Services Department. The Durham County Board of Commissioners enacted the permitting requirement to ensure that land-disturbing projects do not harm the general public. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the permit requirement, applicants seeking to conduct land-disturbing activities on 5 or more acres of land must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for a permit.
What is the Purpose of the Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Bond?
Durham requires persons conducting land-disturbing activities on 5 or more acres of land to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a land-disturbing permit. The bond ensures that the county will receive compensation for financial harm if the permittee fails to abide by the regulations outlined in Durham County UDO 3.8.2. Specifically, the bond protects the county if the permittee either does not complete the project or does not do an adequate job. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the permittee violates the terms of their land-disturbing permit.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Durham” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the bond applicant to determine eligibility and pricing for the Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control bond. Applicants with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Applicants with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the applicant’s credit.
How Much Does the Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Bond Cost?
The Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control bond can cost anywhere between 1% to 12.5% of the bond amount per year. Insurance companies determine the rate based on several factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below offers a quick reference for the bond cost on a $20,000 bond requirement.
$20,000 Sedimentation and Erosion Control Bond Cost
|Credit Score||Bond Cost (1 year)|
|680 – 719||$300|
|650 – 679||$400|
|600 – 649||$800|
|550 – 599||$1,500|
|500 – 549||$2,500|
Who is Required to Purchase the Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Bond?
Durham requires all persons performing land-disturbing activities, for any privately funded and non-agricultural projects, on 5 or more acres of land to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a land-disturbing permit. To paraphrase Durham UDO 17.3, “land-disturbing activity” refers to any use of land that alters its natural cover or topography and contributes to sedimentation.
The following land-disturbing activities are exemptions to the permit requirement:
- Fighting fires
- Occur on less than 12,000 square feet of land
- Conducted on farmland to grow crops or raise livestock
- Conducted on forest land for the harvesting of timber
- Authorized under the Mining Act of 1971
- Where the state has complete regulatory jurisdiction
- Conducted during a state of emergency
- Performed to restore wetland functionalities of converted wetlands
What is the Application Process for a Durham Land-Disturbing Permit?
Your customers must navigate several steps to obtain a Durham Land-Disturbing Permit. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Stormwater and Erosion Control Division’s plan submission overview page as well as the plan submittal checklist for details on the process.
Permit Period – The Durham Land-Disturbing Permit expires two years from the date of issuance unless an extension is applied for and granted. However, permits will expire one year from the date of issuance if no work has been performed in that time period.
Step 1 – Determine the Amount of Land to be Disturbed
Durham only requires permits for land-disturbing activities that occur on land that is at least 12,000 square feet. Additionally, permit applicants seeking to conduct land-disturbing activities on land that exceeds 20,000 square feet must submit a sedimentation and erosion control plan before being issued a permit.
Step 2 – Submit the Sedimentation and Erosion Control Plan
All Durham Sedimentation and Erosion Control Plans can be submitted online here. Two completed copies of the plan must be submitted and accompanied by the following items:
The applicants will be notified when their plan is approved.
Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Permit applicants seeking to conduct land-disturbing activities on 5 acres or more of land must purchase and maintain a surety bond with a limit of $4,000 per disturbed acre.
Step 4 – Obtain a Zoning Compliance Form
Step 5 – Install Fencing
Applicants must install protective fencing around the surrounding trees and have their fences inspected.
The Engineering and Environmental Services Department will issue the applicant a land-disturbing permit once all of the above steps have been completed.
Can Durham Land-Disturbing Permits be Renewed?
No, Durham Land-Disturbing Permits cannot be renewed. However, permit holders who have not completed their project within two years from the date of issuance may apply for an extension of their permit’s term. Permits will expire one year from the date of issuance if no work has been performed in that time period.
What are the Liability Insurance Requirements for Land-Disturbing Permits in Durham?
Durham does not require applicants to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a land-disturbing permit. However, the contractor or developer may be required to purchase insurance before obtaining a license or building permit.
How Do Durham Land-Disturbing Permit Holders File Their Bonds?
Land-disturbing permit holders should mail their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the following address:
COUNTY OF DURHAM
Durham County Engineering Department
c/o Sedimentation and Erosion Control Officer
201 E. Main St, 5th Floor
Durham, NC 27701
The surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and from the permit applicant. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name, address, and phone number of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name, address, and phone number
- Bond amount
- Project’s name
- Durham County job control number
- Date the bond goes into effect
What Can Durham Land-Disturbing Permit Holders Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, land-disturbing permit holders in Durham must ensure that adhere to all provisions outlined in the bond form, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Complete the job
- Ensure that the work performed is adequate
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Land-Disturbing Permit Holders in Durham?
Durham does not require land-disturbing permit holders to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a permit. However, most permit holders will obtain this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Durham Land-Disturbing Permit Holder Customers?
Durham unfortunately does not provide the public with a list of active land-disturbing permits in the county. We suggest contacting the Stormwater and Erosion Control Division to obtain this information. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.