Town of Westminster, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting 5-2-2006 by Art. 53. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Cross-connection control — See Ch. 88.
Gas, plumbing and wiring — See Ch. 113.
Sewers — See Ch. 161.
Wells — See Ch. 200.
Groundwater monitoring and soil testing — See Ch. 241.
Sewage disposal — See Ch. 245.
Toxic and hazardous wastes — See Ch. 251.
Water supplies — See Ch. 254.
Wells, private and semipublic — See Ch. 255.

§ 123-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Westminster through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the storm drainage system to the maximum extent practicable, as required by federal and state law. This bylaw establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in order to comply with requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process. The objectives of this chapter are:
A. 
To regulate the contribution of pollutants to the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) by stormwater discharges by any user;
B. 
To prohibit illicit connections and discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system; and
C. 
To establish legal authority to carry out all inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.

§ 123-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the following shall mean:
AUTHORIZED ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
Employees or designees of the director of the municipal agency designated to enforce this bylaw.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)
Schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, general good housekeeping practices, pollution prevention and educational practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants directly or indirectly to stormwater, receiving waters, or stormwater conveyance systems. BMPs also include treatment practices, operating procedures, and practices to control site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or water disposal, or drainage from raw materials storage.
CLEAN WATER ACT
The federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.), and any subsequent amendments thereto.
CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
Activities subject to NPDES construction permits. Currently these include construction projects resulting in land disturbance of five acres or more. Beginning in March 2003, NPDES Storm Water Phase II permits will be required for construction projects resulting in land disturbance of one acre or more. Such activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating, and demolition.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Any material, including any substance, waste, or combination thereof, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may cause, or significantly contribute to, a substantial present or potential hazard to human health, safety, property, or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.
ILLEGAL DISCHARGE
Any direct or indirect non-storm water discharge to the storm drain system, except as exempted in § 123-7 of this bylaw.
ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
An illicit connection is defined as either of the following: Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the storm drain system including but not limited to any conveyances which allow any nonstormwater discharge including sewage, process wastewater, and washwater to enter the storm drain system and any connections to the storm drain system from indoor drains and sinks, regardless of whether said drain or connection had been previously allowed, permitted, or approved by an authorized enforcement agency or, any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the storm drain system which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records and approved by an authorized enforcement agency.
INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
Activities subject to NPDES Industrial Permits as defined in 40 CFR, Section 122.26(b)(14).
NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) STORM WATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
A permit issued by EPA [or by a state under authority delegated pursuant to 33 USC § 1342(b)] that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States, whether the permit is applicable on an individual, group, or general area-wide basis.
NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
Any discharge to the storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.
PERSON
Any individual, association, organization, partnership, firm, corporation or other entity recognized by law and acting as either the owner or as the owner's agent.
POLLUTANT
Anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; oil and other automotive fluids; nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, bylaws, and accumulations, so that same may cause or contribute to pollution; floatables; pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; hazardous substances and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens; dissolved and particulate metals; animal wastes; wastes and residues that result from constructing a building or structure; and noxious or offensive matter of any kind.
PREMISES
Any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.
STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Publicly owned facilities by which stormwater is collected and/or conveyed, including but not limited to any roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, gutters, curbs, inlets, piped storm drains, pumping facilities, retention and detention basins, natural and human-made or altered drainage channels, reservoirs, and other drainage structures.
STORMWATER
Any surface flow, runoff, and drainage consisting entirely of water from any form of natural precipitation, and resulting from such precipitation.
STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PLAN
A document which describes the best management practices and activities to be implemented by a person or business to identify sources of pollution or contamination at a site and the actions to eliminate or reduce pollutant discharges to stormwater, stormwater conveyance systems, and/or receiving waters to the maximum extent practicable.
WASTEWATER
Any water or other liquid, other than uncontaminated stormwater, discharged from a facility.

§ 123-3 Applicability.

This bylaw shall apply to all flows entering the municipally owned storm drain system generated on any developed and undeveloped lands unless explicitly exempted by an authorized enforcement agency.

§ 123-4 Authority.

This bylaw is adopted under the authority granted by the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and the Home Rule Procedures Act, and pursuant to the regulations of the federal Clean Water Act found at 40 CFR 122.34.

§ 123-5 Responsibility for administration.

The Public Works Commission (PWC) shall administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this bylaw. Any powers granted or duties imposed upon the PWC may be delegated in writing by the PWC to employees or agents of the PWC. The PWC may adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this bylaw, however, failure to adopt such rules and regulations shall not have the effect of suspending or invalidating this bylaw.

§ 123-6 Discharge prohibitions.

A. 
Illicit discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause or allow to be discharged any pollutant or nonstormwater discharge into the municipal storm drain system (MS4), into a watercourse, or into the waters of the commonwealth.
B. 
Prohibition of illicit connections. No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drain system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation or custom at the time of connection.
C. 
Obstruction of municipal storm drain system. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the municipal storm drain system without prior written approval from the PWC.

§ 123-7 Exemptions.

A. 
Discharge or flow resulting from fire-fighting activities.
B. 
The following non-stormwater discharges or flow are exempt from the prohibition of nonstormwaters provided that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the municipal storm drain system:
(1) 
Waterline flushing;
(2) 
Flow from potable water sources;
(3) 
Springs;
(4) 
Natural flow from riparian habitats and wetlands;
(5) 
Diverted stream flow;
(6) 
Rising groundwater;
(7) 
Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration as defined in 40 CFR 35.2005(20), or uncontaminated pumped groundwater;
(8) 
Water from exterior foundation drains, footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, or air-conditioning condensation;
(9) 
Discharge from landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
(10) 
Water from individual residential car washing;
(11) 
Discharge from dechlorinated swimming pool water (less than one ppm chlorine), provided that water is allowed to stand for one week prior to draining and the pool is drained in such a way as not to cause a nuisance;
(12) 
Discharge from street sweeping;
(13) 
Dye testing, provided verbal notification is given to the PWC prior to the time of the test;
(14) 
Non-stormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit or a surface water discharge permit, waiver, or waste discharge order administered under the authority or the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Environmental Protection, provided that the discharge is in full compliance with the requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and applicable laws and regulations; and
(15) 
Discharge for which advanced written approval is received from the PWC as necessary to protect public health, safety, welfare or the environment.

§ 123-8 Suspension of storm drainage system access.

The PWC may suspend municipal storm drain system access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge of pollutants that presents imminent risk of harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the authorized enforcement agency may take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to public health, safety, welfare or the environment.

§ 123-9 Notification of spills.

Notwithstanding other requirements of local, state or federal law, as soon as a person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information or suspects a release of materials at that facility or operation resulting in or which may result in discharge of pollutants to the municipal drainage system or waters of the commonwealth, the person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment, and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the person shall immediately notify the municipal Fire and Police Departments. In the event of a release of nonhazardous material, the reporting person shall provide to the authorized enforcement agency written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile, or in-person notifications within three business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or operator shall retain on-site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.

§ 123-10 Enforcement.

A. 
The PWC or authorized agent of the PWC shall enforce this bylaw, regulations, orders, violation notices, and enforcement orders, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.
B. 
Civil relief. If a person violates the provisions of this bylaw, regulations, permit, notice or order issued thereunder, the PWC may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
C. 
Orders. The PWC or an authorized agent of the PWC may issue a written order to enforce the provisions of this bylaw or the regulations thereunder, which may include:
(1) 
Elimination of illicit connections or discharges to the MS4;
(2) 
Performance of monitoring and analyses, and reporting;
(3) 
That unlawful discharges, practices, or operations shall cease and desist; and
(4) 
Remediation of contamination in connection therewith.
D. 
If the enforcement agent determines that abatement of remediation of contamination is required, the order shall set forth a deadline by which such abatement or remediation must be completed. Said order shall further advise that, should the violator or property owner fail to abate or perform remediation within the specified deadline, the Town may, at is option, undertake such work, and expenses thereof shall be charged to the violator.
E. 
Within 30 days after completing all measures necessary to abate the violation or to perform remediation, the violator and the property owner will be notified of the costs incurred by the Town, including administrative costs. The violator or property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount or basis of cost with the PWC within 30 days of receipt of the notification of the costs incurred. If the amount due is not received by the expiration of the time in which to file a protest or within 30 days following a decision of the PWC affirming or reducing the costs, or from a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the costs shall constitute a lien on the owner's property for the amount of said costs. Interest shall begin to accrue on any unpaid costs at the statutory rate provided in MGL c. 59, § 57, after the 31st day at which the costs first become due.
F. 
Criminal penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this bylaw, regulation, order or permit issued thereunder, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
G. 
Entry to perform duties under this chapter. To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the PWC or its agents, performing their duties under this bylaw and regulations and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the PWC deems reasonably necessary.
H. 
Appeals. The decision or orders of the PWC shall be final. Further relief shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction.
I. 
Remedies not exclusive. The remedies listed in this bylaw are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law.

§ 123-11 Severability.

The provisions of this bylaw are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this Bylaw or the application thereof to any person, establishment, or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or application of this bylaw.