Program and Services


ESM Course

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 from 8 am to 4 pm for two days 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 from the PSU College of Engineering.


Program Eligibility

Anyone involved in the maintenance of unpaved and/or low volume roads will benefit from the practices taught in this course that are designed to reduce sediment pollution and long-term road maintenance costs. Personnel who have previously attended the ESM training can also become re-certified by attending an Annual Maintenance Workshop (RE-certification only, must have attended ESM training in past).

Potential Grant Applications: 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.

Bureau of Forestry: ESM training is mandatory for at least one person involved with the Program, and is valid for (5) calendar years.

Other Personnel: Any other personnel involved in the Program (i.e., PADEP, PennDOT, etc.) who are interested in receiving ESM training every 5 years to maintain Program eligibility.


Please see the remaining 2021-2022 Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Trainings along with a link for registrations below.

We know that many counties are eager to host some Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) for Dirt Gravel, and Low Volume Roads training this fall.  We have scheduled 6 in-person and 4 remote zoom ESM trainings for August 2021 through March 2022.  We have had more requests than we could fill, but we tried to at least get one in each region of the state.  Please see the full schedule and additional information below.
  • Both in person and remote ESMs will remain “1-day trainings” through next spring. NOTE: remote sessions are split into two consecutive mornings.
  • Both the in-person and remote training will continue to carry a 5-year certification for DGLVR funding

2021 In-Person ESM Trainings (each 1-full day)

  • Will remain one full day (8am to 4pm) as was done in 2020
  • Registration will be available starting this Friday 8/12 at:  BIG GREEN BUTTON at the bottom of the page.
  • You can add multiple people by clicking the ‘Add Another Group Member’. You will need to use a different email for each attendee (this is the preferred method). If you don’t have one for everyone, make one up and cc yourself.
  • COVID Notes:
    • As of right now, no attendance limits are in place other than from the facility.
    • Unvaccinated attendees will be required to wear masks throughout the training.
    • Please note that additional restrictions or even cancelations may be required in the future base on guidance from the State or Penn State University.
  • Dates and Locations
    • Aug 17: Erie County: Sheraton Erie Bay Front Hotel, 55 West Bay Drive, Erie PA  16507
    • Sept 8: Centre County: Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center, 215 Innovation Blvd, State College, PA  16803
    • Sept 21: Berks County: Holiday Inn Morgantown, 6170 Morgantown Road, Morgantown, PA  19543
    • Sept 28: Beaver County: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Area/Beaver Valley, 2000 Wagner Road Ext. South, Monaca, PA 15061
    • Oct 12: York County: Wyndham Garden York, 2000 Loucks Road, York, PA  17408
    • Oct 19: Luzerne County: Holiday Inn Wilkes Barre East Mountain, 600 Wildflower Drive, Wilkes-Barre, PA  18702

2021-22 Remote ESM Trainings (each training consists of two consecutive morning sessions)

  • Registration will be available later this fall.
  • Training will be ~8 hours in length, but split between two consecutive mornings (8-12:30) as was done in 2020-21
  • Dates:
    • Dec 14 & 15
    • Jan 18 & 19
    • Feb 15 & 16
    • March 15 & 16