I would like to verify we have switch grass silt sock "the Big Switch®" provided by the BEG Group installed, stored outside and stored inside on our PennDOT project in Kittanning, Pa. We have sock in various sizes from 8" to 24" throughout the project that has been installed for going on 10 month's now. It has been inspected regularly by PennDOT and the Armstrong Conservation District and has never shown any breakdown or weakness after snow, rain and extreme temperatures in both directions. Nor has it ever not passed inspection or shown any signs of failing due to longevity. As far as the pallets stored outside, we have had them onsite for 8 months and use sock from the stockpile on a regular basis and we have no reason to feel uncomfortable installing for the fact it looks just like it did when it came off the truck months ago.  That also goes for the pallets stored in the storage containers supplied by BEG Group to help save time on shipping and availability on both ends. 

Thank you, Tony Smith/Supervisor 

​Pittsburgh Office - Independence Excavating, Inc.


Back to Back Winner of the AGC of America National Construction Safety Excellence Award

Recognized Five Consecutive Years as a Top Workplace by Cleveland Plain Dealer


Big Switch® is listed on the approved BMP list on Pa DEP’s website.  

 The Big Switch® Erosion/Filter Medium Specification Sheet

(Be advised: The same info given below can be used for Phalanx Bio Switch™ as well)

Big Switch® is a sturdy polypropylene geotextile (woven) fabric
(see note below) that has been engineered specifically for controlling erosion and containing and/or retaining sediment in disturbed areas.  It is a mesh tube filled with biobased material that is placed perpendicular to sheet-flow runoff.  Big Switch®, which is oval to round in cross section, provides a three-dimensional filter that retains sediment and other pollutants (e.g., suspended solids, tannic acid, nitrates, phosphate’s and motor oil) while allowing the cleaned water to flow through.  Big Switch® can be used in place of traditional sediment and erosion control tools such as a silt fence, straw bale barrier and mulch socks. 

NOTE: As of October 3, 2016 we offer a cotton fabric sock which is 100% biodegradable trade named Phalanx Bio Switch™

Big Switch® sock are generally placed along the perimeter of a site, or at intervals along a slope, to capture and treat storm water that runs off as sheet flow. Big Switch® filters are flexible and can be filled and easily moved into position, making them especially useful on steep or rocky slopes where installation of other erosion control tools is not feasible. With Big Switch® there is greater surface area contact with soil than typical sediment control devices, thereby reducing the potential for runoff to create rills under the device and/or create channels carrying unfiltered sediment.

Additionally, they can be laid adjacent to each other, perpendicular to storm water flow, to reduce flow velocity and soil erosion. Big Switch® can also be used on pavement as inlet protection for storm drains and to slow water flow in small ditches. Big Switch® Filters are 8,12,18, and 24 inches in diameter. 

Big Switch® Filters can be un-vegetated or vegetated.  Vegetated Big Switch® can be left in place to provide long-term filtration of storm water as a post-construction best management practice (BMP). The vegetation grows into the slope, further anchoring the filter. Big Switch® are often cut open when the project is completed, and the filter material is spread around the site as a soil amendment. The filter mesh fabric is then disposed of unless it is biodegradable.

Advantages Big Switch® has over traditional sediment control tools, such as a silt fence, and mulch are:

Big Switch® installation does not require trenching disturbing the soil surface.
Big Switch® is much more easily installed.
Big Switch® can be installed where trenching is not viable.
Big Switch® has a wider contact surface area.
Big Switch® does not contribute additional tannic acids.
Big Switch® does not need to be removed.
Due to the light weight of Big Switch®  vs. mulch you save on back strains and shipping cost.



Big Switch® Filters are applicable to construction sites or other disturbed areas where storm water runoff occurs as sheet flow. Common industry practice for filter devices is that drainage areas do not exceed 0.25 acre per 100 feet of device length and flow does not exceed one cubic foot per second (see Siting and Design Considerations). Big Switch® Filters can be used on steeper slopes with faster flows if they are spaced more closely, stacked beside and/or on top of each other, made in larger diameters, or used in combination with other storm water Best Management Practices.

Siting and Design Considerations
Materials:  Big Switch® achieves the proper balance between sediment removal and flow-through rate by using biobased material with the proper particle size.  Filter material with a high percentage of fine particles will clog and create a barrier to flow. Alternatively, filter material with particles that are too large will allow flows to pass through the barrier with little or no resistance, eliminating the velocity reduction and sediment trapping benefits of the barrier.   

​Design: Big Switch® Filters are round to oval in cross section; they are assembled by tying a knot or zip tie at one end of the mesh, filling the filter with the material then knotting or zip tying the other end once the desired length is reached.  Big Switch™, the length of the slope, is normally used to ensure that storm water does not break through at the intersection of Big Switch™ placed end-to-end. In cases where this is not possible, the Big Switch® filters are placed end-to-end along a slope and the ends are interlocked. The diameter of Big Switch® used will vary depending upon the steepness and length of the slope.

Installation:   Once Big Switch® is filled and put in place, it should be anchored to the slope. The preferred anchoring method is to drive stakes through the center of the tube at regular intervals; alternatively, stakes can be placed on the downstream side of the Big Switch®. Stakes should be wooden 2” X 2“of appropriate length to provide 12” embedding in the ground + the sock diameter + 2” sticking above the sock and at 10’ spacing. The ends of the Filter should be directed up-slope to prevent storm water from running around the end of the Big Switch®.  

Limitations:  Big Switch® offers a large degree of flexibility for various applications. To ensure optimum performance, heavy vegetation should be cut down or removed, and extremely uneven surfaces should be leveled to ensure that Big Switch® uniformly contacts the ground surface.  Big Switch® installed perpendicular to flow in areas where a large volume of storm water runoff is likely, but should not be installed perpendicular to flow in perennial waterways and large streams.

Maintenance Considerations

Big Switch® Filters should be inspected regularly, as well as after each rain event, to ensure that they are intact and the area behind Big Switch® is not filled with sediment.  If there is excessive ponding behind Big Switch® or accumulated sediment reaches the top of the filter, an additional Big Switch® Filter should be added on top or in front of the existing filter in these areas, without disturbing the soil or accumulated sediment.  If Big Switch® was overtopped during a storm event, the operator should consider installing additional Big Switch® on top of the original, placing an additional filter up the slope, or using an additional BMP such as hydro seeding, matting/netting or compost blankets in conjunction with the Big Switch® Filter.

Effectiveness:  A large number of qualitative studies have reported the effectiveness of filter tube devices in removing settle able solids, total suspended solids and turbidity reduction from sediment laden water, (see Dr. Amanda Cox, Colorado State University, 2011). These studies have consistently shown that filter tubes devices, i.e. Big Switch®, are at least as effective as traditional erosion and sediment control BMP’s and often are more effective.  Big Switch® filters are often used in conjunction with hydro seeding, matting/netting, or compost blankets to form a storm water management system.  Together these BMPs retain a very high volume of storm water, sediment and other pollutants.

Hunter Station Bridge Project wins a 2018 America's Transportation Award for Technology & Innovation


Cambridge, OH. (January 17, 2017) — BEG Group LLC announced today that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label. The product, Phalanx Bio Switch™ Filtration & Erosion Control Medium, is now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content. (Phalanx Bio Switch™ has a biobased content of 100%)  Third-party verification for a product's biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase and use of biobased products. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product's biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.

"We applaud BEG Group LLC for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label," said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. "Products from BEG Group LLC are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities and creates jobs in rural communities.

Home Office

61455 Greenbriar Drive

Cambridge, Ohio 43725

Perry Burt   (740) 680-0343


Jay Elkin    (412) 289-0174


Joe Greco   (724) 681-4414


​​BEG Group LLC Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

The BEG Group Lafayette, Louisiana Office
Beg Group's southern office address is:
3309 Kaliste Saloom Rd
Lafayette, LA
c/o The Belltech Group (337) 981-2268

Belltech Group, a professional construction company specialized in all phases for commercial and industrial providing design, fabrication, installation, and construction management services for over 35 years, will represent BEG Group's patent pending trade named "Big Switch" Erosion/Filtration interests.  http://www.thebelltechgroup.com/ 

The aging Hunter Station Bridge in Tionesta, Pa. needed to be replaced, yet complications stood athwart the project. A bridge closure was not possible as it would leave the travelling public with a 42-mile detour. The Allegheny River posed another problem. During the Industrial Revolution in America, most of the mussel populations were killed due to degraded water quality. Yet near the Hunter Station Bridge, the area remained rural and undeveloped, allowing for pristine water quality and a healthy ecosystem for the mussels. Thus the mussels would need protecting during a bridge replacement effort. BEG Group's innovative nontoxic plant based Big Switch® Erosion/Filtration medium was brought in to assist in protecting this endangered species! For four months and at a cost of $25 million, PennDOT and partners successfully salvaged, tagged, and moved more than 90 percent of the mussels in the direct impact areas of the bridge project. They were relocated to streams in six other states as well as other streams in Pennsylvania. In the end, not only did PennDOT build a new, structurally-sound bridge for residents to avoid a very long detour, it included perhaps one of the largest conservation efforts for a single species in North America – an innovative project all around. Please consider reading more on this project in the info stream below.

Big Switch® Protects Endangered Mussels

About BEG Group LLC

The BEG Group's Biodegradable Switchgrass Product aka

                           Big Switch®, Phalanx Bio Switch™ & PBS Chinking™                                                       

Big Switch

Pictured below: Cleveland Metro Parks uses Big Switch® for sediment control as well as for phosphate and nitrogen retention to help prevent high concentrations of these nutrients from getting into streams causing growth of algae and green plants in their waterways and eventually the Great Lakes.  Cleveland Metro Parks switched to our 100% cotton biopreferred sock which they intend to leave in place to degrade naturally.      

Click on the Pa DEP logo above to visit the ALTERNATIVE E&S AND PCSM BMPs  Revised: March 21, 2017 

BEG Group LLC offers the first plant based erosion/filtration sock product on the market. Our Phalanx Bio Switch™, winner of a national environmental award for groundwater and soil for 2017, is the original switchgrass sock to be nationally certified as a 100% biobased/biopreferred erosion/filtration medium by the USDA Biopreferred Program https://www.biopreferred.gov . Our Big Switch® erosion/filtration medium, is the first ever switchgrass sock to be called out as highly qualified and exceptionally valued for use on highly sensitive environmental projects by Pa DEP and PennDOT. Big Switch®  is now approved in other states including West Virginia and Ohio. Our latest offering, PBS Switch Chinking™, has won a national environmental protection award for groundwater and soil for 2018. Phalanx Bio Switch™ and PBS Switch Chinking™ warrant a field longevity of 6 months before they begin to degrade while Big Switch® has a field longevity past one year. BEG Group is the 2018 Excellence In Environmental Stewardship award winner within the NE U.S. Oil and Gas industry! As of May 2018 BEG Group products are approved statewide by the Ohio EPA and being put through procurement protocol for ODOT as of September 2018.

Congratulations on BEG Group's Big Switch® & PBS Switch Chinking™ both being Bio Preferred Erosion/Filtration Medium winning a 2017 & 2018 Environmental Protection New Product of the Year award.  

The Environmental Protection New Product of the Year Award honors the outstanding achievements of industry manufacturers whose products are considered particularly noteworthy for making environmental professionals’ jobs a little easier.

Susan May
Group Marketing Director, 
Infrastructure Solutions Group – Environmental Protection
Dallas, TX 75254

Our internationally trade named "Big Switch®" Filter Process & Products meet the following Requirements:
1. Big Switch® has been tested and proven to reduce turbidity, reduce nitrate levels and has shown to reduce, and does not contribute to, tannic acids levels.
2. Big Switch® serves as a silt filter and a pollution neutralizing barrier which can be installed along the perimeter of an area that is known to produce polluted surface runoff. The biodegradable filter sock is made from a biodegradable mesh that is water permeable and is photodegradable or biobased cotton. This allows the user to leave the product in a specific location to filter runoff and eventually decay into environment friendly materials.
3. Big Switch® typically allows for a greater water flow through when compared to a similar mass of wood chips. Thus, greater volumes of water is capable of flowing through the switchgrass while being filtered. This is useful as increased flow helps prevent the possibility of water pooling on one side of the filter sock and potentially causing ground erosion or spilling over the top of the filter sock.​​

Beg Group's Big Switch® Erosion/Filtration Medium has been installed at the Hunter Station Bridge (SR 62) Bridge endangered mussel salvage and relocation project in northwestern Pennsylvania over the Allegheny River to help guard against contamination and pollution of said mussels and for erosion control. The project is located in a reach of the Allegheny River that contains the largest known populations of the federally and state endangered Clubshell (Pleurobema clava) and Northern Riffleshell (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana). 

The project is unique in scale as over 85,000 endangered mussels may be salvaged from under the bridge prior to construction, and relocated to augment or reintroduce the species to various locations across their original range. Relocation areas include streams in IL, IN, OH, PA, NY, KY, WV, and the Seneca Nation of Indians, Salamanca Reservation.

Big Switch has been working onsite at Independence Excavating's Rt 422 Kittaning, Pa project since March, 2017.

PBS Switch Chinking

BEG Group is honored to have received the 2018 NE Oil & Gas award For Excellence in Environmental Stewardship.

​6th Annual Oil & Gas Awards Judge's Comments:

The product shows clear advantages when compared to the alternatives. I also like that BEG Group went out and got detailed, creditable testimonials from significant companies.

From personal experience I know that both Bechtel & Jacobs Engineering are using the product and think very highly of Big Switch®, which is also confirmed in the entry.

BEG Group wants to thank all our client partners for believing in us as a company and Big Switch® as an erosion/filtration medium which has been called out as a highly qualified/exceptionally valued alternative to compost especially in extremely sensitive environmental areas. Joe Greco/President.

Tests show Switchgrass is as effective as compost for filtering sediment. This is a direct replacement for Compost sock and should follow the same standards. Pa Department of Environmental Protection. Alternative E&S and PCSM BMPs-Revised, March 29, 2017

Per 3/27/17 email from Pa. DEP's William Himes, Big Switch® is listed on the approved BMP list on DEP's website -- Alternate E&S and PCSM BMP's. Therefore, this product has been approved for use on PennDOT projects as a Pub 408, Section 106.02(a)2.c, Project Specific Locally Approved Material. 

PennDOT has issued a Letter to BEG Group LLC stating that Big Switch® is approved for use as an alternate to compost under Section 867-Compost Filter Sock.  Big Switch® must be used with a filter sock that meets the specification criteria listed in Section 867. 

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 The BEG Group


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