The Problem

Brush Valley Road before


Dirt, gravel and low volume roads (low-traffic) roads transverse all of our rural landscapes from forests to farmlands. These roads frequently cut across natural drainage patterns to intercept both overland and sub-surface water flows and convey runoff directly to nearby streams, resulting in sediment pollution, an increase in flood flows, and a decrease in groundwater recharge through infiltration. The combined “rural storm-water system” is a large, but frequently overlooked cause of stream and watershed degradation and impairment. York County’s Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Program is available to eligible public road maintenance entities providing both financial and technical assistance. Better roads, better streams, better communities!


 The Solution

Brush Valley Road after

Many of the Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) Practices advocated by the Center for Dirt & Gravel (D&G) Road Studies, Penn State University, are designed to “disconnect the rural storm-water system” to reduce sediment pollution, encourage infiltration, and reduce long-term maintenance cost.

ESM Principles:

  • Avoid concentrating drainage.
  • Minimize flow volumes.
  • Reduce effects of concentrated drainage.
  • Prevent surface erosion.
  • Reduce maintenance cost and frequency.

 How does it work?

Local, county and state entities that maintain dirt and gravel roads are eligible to receive funding. Entities successful completion of required 2-day Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) training, are eligible to apply to the York County Conservation District for maintenance funds to address identified, priority pollution problems using environmentally sound practices. Eligible entities, with assistance of their County Conservation District, submit a 1-page application and work plan to address a specific verified worksite. Environmentally sound maintenance practices and approved products are used to correct pollution problems related to roadway. Grants awarded to successful applicants provide advance payments to aid with project cash flow and complete project work on a timely basis. Paperwork requirements are minimal. Local decision-making based on locally-defined goals is emphasized.

2018 Deadlines for applications & QAB Meeting schedule:

Applications Due:                QAB Meeting Dates:

February 22, 2018               March 22, 2018

July 26, 2018                        August 23, 2018

Forms & Guidance (all PDF forms must be opened in Adobe Reader)

QAB Policy & Procedures 

Grant Application Instructions

DGLVR Grant Project Application Form

Budget Details Worksheets

E&S Plan Form 

Stream Crossing Evaluation form

Traffic Counts form

Off-Row Consent Agreement

DSA Certification form

DSA Purchase Notice Form

Project Performance Report ATT G


• Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance of Dirt & Gravel Roads Brochure

• State Conservation Commission’s Dirt & Gravel Road Maintenance Policy

• York County’s DGLVR Program

• Center for Dirt & Gravel Road Studies

• 2015 DGLVRP Information Session


The Center’s Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) Course is an intense two-day classroom session focused on providing the knowledge and tools necessary for road owners to maintain roads in a more cost-efficient and environmentally sensitive manner. The Center’s holds approximately 10 ESM Courses at locations around Pennsylvania every year. The course runs form 8 am to 4 pm for two days (doors open at 7 am for registration and continental breakfast and includes lunch). The course is free to municipal, county, and state agencies involved with PA’s Dirt and Gravel Road Program. All out-of-state and private companies must pay a fee of $395. This course provides 1.3 Continuing Education Units and 13 PDHs Professional Development Hours from the PSU College of Engineering.

Dates for Trainings

The closest training to York County will be on April 13th & 14th at the Gettysburg Hotel. Click the above link for more info and all other training locations being offered.


Program Eligibility:

–         Potential Grant Applicants: In order to be eligible to apply for Program funds, the person in charge of work plan development and project implementation from the road-owning entity must have attended environmentally sensitive maintenance (ESM) training within the past five (5) calendar years. This training, and all past 2-day ESM trainings, counts as eligibility to apply for BOTH Dirt and Gravel and (paved) Low Volume Road funds for a period of five (5) calendar years.

–         Conservation Districts: ESM training is mandatory for at least one district representative on the QAB, and for the district staff person(s) most involved with the Program, and is valid for (5) calendar years.