[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Green Tree 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1526 (Ch. 1072 of the 1982 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Green Tree Borough Stormwater Management Ordinance."
The Council finds that:
Stormwater runoff from lands modified by human activities threatens public health and safety by causing decreased infiltration of rainwater and increased runoff flows and velocities, which overtax the carrying capacity of existing streams and storm sewers, and greatly increases the cost to the public to manage stormwater.
Inadequate planning and management of stormwater runoff resulting from land development and redevelopment throughout a watershed can also harm surface water resources by changing the natural hydrologic patterns, accelerating stream flows (which increase scour and erosion of streambeds and stream banks thereby elevating sedimentation), destroying aquatic habitat and elevating aquatic pollutant concentrations and loadings such as sediments, nutrients, heavy metals and pathogens. Groundwater resources are also impacted through loss of recharge.
A program of stormwater management, including reasonable regulation of land development and redevelopment causing loss of natural infiltration, is fundamental to the public health, safety, welfare, and the protection of the people of the municipality and all the people of the commonwealth, their resources, and the environment.
Stormwater can be an important water resource by providing groundwater recharge for water supplies and base flow of streams, which also protects and maintains surface water quality.
Public education on the control of pollution from stormwater is an essential component in successfully addressing stormwater.
Federal and state regulations require certain municipalities to implement a program of stormwater controls. These municipalities are required to obtain a permit for stormwater discharges from their separate storm sewer systems under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
Nonstormwater discharges to municipal separate storm sewer systems can contribute to pollution of waters of the commonwealth by the municipality.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote health, safety, and welfare within the municipality and its watershed by minimizing the harms and maximizing the benefits described in § 289-2 through provisions designed to:
Manage stormwater runoff impacts at their source by regulating activities that cause the problems.
Provide review procedures and performance standards for stormwater planning and management.
Utilize and preserve the existing natural drainage systems as much as possible.
Manage stormwater impacts close to the runoff source, which requires a minimum of structures and relies on natural processes.
Focus on infiltration of stormwater, to maintain groundwater recharge, to prevent degradation of surface water and groundwater quality and to otherwise protect water resources.
Maintain existing flows and quality of streams and watercourses.
Meet legal water quality requirements under state law, including regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93.4a to protect and maintain existing uses and maintain the level of water quality to support those uses in all streams, and to protect and maintain water quality in special protection streams.
Prevent scour and erosion of stream banks and streambeds.
Provide for proper operations and maintenance of all permanent stormwater management BMPs that are implemented in the municipality.
Provide a mechanism to identify controls necessary to meet the NPDES permit requirements.
Implement an illegal discharge detection and elimination program to address nonstormwater discharges into the municipality's separate storm sewer system.
The municipality is empowered to regulate land use activities that affect stormwater impacts.
This chapter applies to any regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality and all stormwater runoff entering into the municipality's separate storm sewer system from lands within the boundaries of the municipality.
Earth disturbance activities and associated stormwater management controls are also regulated under existing state law and implementing regulations. This chapter shall operate in coordination with those parallel requirements; the requirements of this chapter shall be no less restrictive in meeting the purposes of this chapter than state law.
Any other ordinance provision or regulation of the municipality inconsistent with any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby repealed to the extent of the inconsistency only.
Approvals issued and actions taken under this chapter do not relieve the applicant of the responsibility to secure required permits or approvals for activities regulated by any other code, law, regulation or ordinance. To the extent that this chapter imposes more rigorous or stringent requirements for stormwater management, the specific requirements contained in this chapter shall be followed.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any of the municipality's requirements regarding stormwater matters which do not conflict with the provisions of this chapter, such as local stormwater management design criteria (e.g., inlet spacing, inlet type, collection system design and details, outlet structure design, etc.). Conflicting provisions in other municipal ordinances or regulations shall be construed to retain the requirements of this chapter addressing state water quality requirements.
For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms and words used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
- ACCELERATED EROSION
- The removal of the surface of the land through the combined action of human activities and the natural processes at a rate greater than would occur because of the natural process alone.
- A landowner, developer or other person who has filed an application for approval to engage in any regulated earth disturbance activity at a project site in the municipality.
- BMP (BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICE)
- Activities, facilities, designs, measures or procedures used to manage stormwater impacts from regulated earth disturbance activities, to meet state water quality requirements, to promote groundwater recharge and to otherwise meet the purposes of this chapter. BMPs include but are not limited to infiltration, filter strips, low-impact design, bioretention, wet ponds, permeable paving, grassed swales, forested buffers, sand filters and detention basins.
- CONSERVATION DISTRICT
- The Allegheny County Conservation District.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
- A person that seeks to undertake any regulated earth disturbance activities at a project site in the municipality.
- See "earth disturbance activity." The term includes redevelopment.
- DEVELOPMENT SITE
- The specific tract of land where any earth disturbance activities in the municipality are planned, conducted or maintained.
- EARTH DISTURBANCE ACTIVITY
- A construction or other human activity which disturbs the surface of the land, including, but not limited to, clearing and grubbing, grading, excavations, embankments, road maintenance, building construction and the moving, depositing, stockpiling or storing of soil, rock or earth materials.
- The process by which the surface of the land, including channels, is worn away by water, wind or chemical action.
- EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN
- A plan for a project site which identifies BMPs to minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation.
- GROUNDWATER RECHARGE
- Replenishment of existing natural underground water supplies.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- A surface that prevents the infiltration of water into the ground. Impervious surface includes, but is not limited to, any roof, parking or driveway areas and any new streets and sidewalks. Any surface areas designed to initially be gravel or crushed stone shall be assumed to be impervious surfaces.
- Green Tree Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the federal government's system for issuance of permits under the Clean Water Act, which is delegated to DEP in Pennsylvania.
- "Point source" as described in 40 CFR § 122.2 at the point where the municipality's storm sewer system discharges to surface waters of the commonwealth.
- An individual, partnership, public or private association or corporation, or a governmental unit, public utility or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- POINT SOURCE
- Any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including, but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel or conduit from which stormwater is or may be discharged, as defined in state regulations at 25 Pa. Code § 92.1.
- PROJECT SITE
- The specific area of land where any regulated earth disturbance activities in the municipality are planned, conducted or maintained.
- Earth disturbance activities on land which has previously been disturbed or developed.
- REGULATED EARTH DISTURBANCE ACTIVITY
- Earth disturbance activity of one acre or more with a point source discharge to surface waters or the municipality's storm sewer system or of five acres or more regardless of the planned runoff. This includes earth disturbance on any portion of, part or during any stage of a larger common plan of development. This only includes road maintenance activities involving 25 acres or more of earth disturbance.
- ROAD MAINTENANCE
- Earth disturbance activities within the existing road cross- section, such as grading and repairing existing unpaved road surfaces, cutting road banks, cleaning or clearing drainage ditches and other similar activities.
- SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM
- A conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels or storm drains) primarily used for collecting and conveying stormwater runoff.
- STATE WATER QUALITY REQUIREMENTS
- As defined under state regulations, protection of designated and existing uses (See 25 Pa. Code Chapters 93 and 96), including:
- (1) Each stream segment in Pennsylvania has a "designated use," such as "cold water fishery" or "potable water supply," which are listed in Chapter 93. These uses must be protected and maintained under state regulations.
- (2) "Existing uses" are those attained as of November 1975, regardless of whether they have been designated in Chapter 93. Regulated earth disturbance activities must be designed to protect and maintain existing uses and maintain the level of water quality necessary to protect those uses in all streams and to protect and maintain water quality in special protection streams.
- (3) Water quality involves the chemical, biological and physical characteristics of surface water bodies. After regulated earth disturbance activities are complete, these characteristics can be impacted by addition of pollutants such as sediment, and changes in habitat through increased flow volumes and/or rates as a result of changes in land surface area from those activities. Therefore, permanent discharges to surface waters must be managed to protect the stream bank, streambed and structural integrity of the waterway to prevent these impacts.
- The surface runoff generated by precipitation reaching the ground surface.
- SURFACE WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
- Any and all rivers, streams, creeks, rivulets, impoundments, ditches, watercourses, storm sewers, lakes, dammed water, wetlands, ponds, springs, and all other bodies or channels of conveyance of surface water, or parts thereof, whether natural or artificial, within or on the boundaries of this commonwealth.
- A channel or conveyance of surface water, such as a stream or creek, having defined bed and banks, whether natural or artificial, with perennial or intermittent flow.
- Region or area drained by a river, watercourse or other body of water, whether natural or artificial.
Words used in the present tense include the future tense; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular; words of masculine gender include feminine gender, and words of feminine gender include masculine gender.
The word "includes" or "including" shall not limit the term to the specific example but is intended to extend its meaning to all other instances of like kind and character.
The words "shall" and "must" are mandatory; the words "may" and "should" are permissive.
All regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall be designed, implemented, operated and maintained to meet the purposes of this chapter, through these two elements:
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until the requirements of this chapter are met.
Erosion and sediment control during regulated earth disturbance activities shall be addressed as required by § 289-11.
All best management practices (BMPs) used to meet the requirements of this chapter shall conform to the state water quality requirements and any more stringent requirements as determined by the municipality.
Techniques described in Appendix A (Low-Impact Development) of this chapter are encouraged, because they reduce the costs of complying with the requirements of this chapter and the state water quality requirements.
Editor's Note: Appendix A, Low-Impact Development, is on file in the Borough office.
The following permit requirements may apply to certain regulated earth disturbance activities, and must be met prior to commencement of regulated earth disturbance activities, as applicable:
All regulated earth disturbance activities subject to permit requirements by DEP under regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102.
Any stormwater management facility that would be located in or adjacent to surface waters of the commonwealth, including wetlands, subject to permit by DEP under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105.
Any stormwater management facility that would be located on a state highway right-of-way, or requires access from a state highway, shall be subject to approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of an erosion and sediment control plan for construction activities.
DEP has regulations that require an erosion and sediment control plan for any earth disturbance activity of 5,000 square feet or more, under 25 Pa. Code § 102.4(b).
In addition, under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92, a DEP NPDES construction activities permit is required for regulated earth disturbance activities.
Evidence of any necessary permit(s) for regulated earth disturbance activities from the appropriate DEP regional office or county conservation district must be provided to the municipality.
A copy of the erosion and sediment control plan and any required permit, as required by DEP regulations, shall be available at the project site at all times.
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of a plan which demonstrates compliance with state water quality requirements after construction is complete.
The BMPs must be designed, implemented and maintained to meet state water quality requirements, and any other more stringent requirements as determined by the municipality.
To control post-construction stormwater impacts from regulated earth disturbance activities, state water quality requirements can be met by BMPs, including site design, which provide for replication of preconstruction stormwater infiltration and runoff conditions, so that post-construction stormwater discharges do not degrade the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of the receiving waters. As described in the DEP Comprehensive Stormwater Management Policy (No. 392-0300-002, September 28, 2002), this may be achieved by the following:
Infiltration: replication of preconstruction stormwater infiltration conditions;
Treatment: use of water quality treatment BMPs to ensure filtering out of the chemical and physical pollutants from the stormwater runoff; and
Stream bank and streambed protection: management of volume and rate of post-construction stormwater discharges to prevent physical degradation of receiving waters (e.g., from scouring).
DEP has regulations that require municipalities to ensure design, implementation and maintenance of best management practices ("BMPs") that control runoff from new development and redevelopment after regulated earth disturbance activities are complete. These requirements include the need to implement post-construction stormwater BMPs with assurance of long-term operations and maintenance of those BMPs.
Evidence of any necessary permit(s) for regulated earth disturbance activities from the appropriate DEP regional office must be provided to the municipality.
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of a BMP operations and maintenance plan which describes how the permanent (e.g., post-construction) stormwater BMPs will be properly operated and maintained.
The following items shall be included in the BMP operations and maintenance plan:
Map(s) of the project area, in a form that meets the requirements for recording at the offices of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County, and which shall be submitted on twenty-four-inch by thirty-six-inch or thirty-inch by forty-two-inch sheets. The contents of the map(s) shall include, but not be limited to:
Clear identification of the location and nature of permanent stormwater BMPs;
The location of the project site relative to highways, municipal boundaries or other identifiable landmarks;
Existing and final contours at intervals of two feet, or others as appropriate;
Existing streams, lakes, ponds or other bodies of water within the project site area;
Other physical features including flood hazard boundaries, sinkholes, streams, existing drainagecourses, and areas of natural vegetation to be preserved;
The locations of all existing and proposed utilities, sanitary sewers, and waterlines within 50 feet of property lines of the project site;
Proposed final changes to the land surface and vegetative cover, including the type and amount of impervious area that would be added;
Proposed final structures, roads, paved areas, and buildings; and
A fifteen-foot-wide access easement around all stormwater BMPs that would provide ingress to and egress from a public right-of-way.
A description of how each permanent stormwater BMP will be operated and maintained, and the identity of the person(s) responsible for operations and maintenance.
The name of the project site, the name and address of the owner of the property, and the name of the individual or firm preparing the plan.
A statement, signed by the landowner, acknowledging that the stormwater BMPs are fixtures that can be altered or removed only after approval by the municipality.
The BMP operations and maintenance plan for the project site shall establish responsibilities for the continuing operation and maintenance of all permanent stormwater BMPs, as follows:
If a plan includes structures or lots which are to be separately owned and in which streets, sewers and other public improvements are to be dedicated to the municipality, stormwater BMPs may also be dedicated to and maintained by the municipality; and
If a plan includes operations and maintenance by a single ownership, or if sewers and other public improvements are to be privately owned and maintained, then the operation and maintenance of stormwater BMPs shall be the responsibility of the owner or private management entity.
The municipality shall make the final determination on the continuing operations and maintenance responsibilities. The municipality reserves the right to accept or reject the operations and maintenance responsibility for any or all of the stormwater BMPs.
The municipality shall review the BMP operations and maintenance plan for consistency with the purposes and requirements of this chapter and any permits issued by DEP.
The municipality shall notify the applicant in writing whether the BMP operations and maintenance plan is approved.
The municipality may require an as-built survey of all stormwater BMPs and an explanation of any discrepancies with the operations and maintenance plan.
It shall be unlawful to alter or remove any permanent stormwater BMP required by an approved BMP operations and maintenance plan, or to allow the property to remain in a condition which does not conform to an approved BMP operations and maintenance plan, unless an exception is granted in writing by the municipality.
The property owner shall sign an operations and maintenance agreement with the municipality covering all stormwater BMPs that are to be privately owned. The agreement shall be substantially the same as the agreement in Appendix B of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Appendix B, a sample operations and maintenance agreement, is on file in the Borough office.
Other items may be included in the agreement where determined necessary to guarantee the satisfactory operation and maintenance of all permanent stormwater BMPs. The agreement shall be subject to the review and approval of the municipality.
Stormwater management easements are required for all areas used for off-site stormwater control, unless a waiver is granted by the Municipal Engineer.
Stormwater management easements shall be provided by the property owner if necessary for access for inspections and maintenance or preservation of stormwater runoff conveyance, infiltration and detention areas and other BMPs by persons other than the property owner. The purpose of the easement shall be specified in any agreement under § 289-17.
The owner of any land upon which permanent BMPs will be placed, constructed or implemented, as described in the BMP operations and maintenance plan, shall record the following documents in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Allegheny County within 15 days of approval of the BMP operations plan by the municipality:
The municipality may suspend or revoke any approvals granted for the project site upon discovery of the failure of the owner to comply with this section.
If stormwater BMPs are accepted by the municipality for dedication, the municipality may require persons installing stormwater BMPs to pay a specified amount to the municipal stormwater BMP operation and maintenance fund to help defray costs of operations and maintenance activities. The amount may be determined as follows:
If a BMP is proposed that also serves as a recreation facility (e.g., ball field, lake), the municipality may adjust the amount due accordingly.
DEP or its designees (e.g., county conservation districts) normally ensure compliance with any permits issued, including those for stormwater management. In addition to DEP compliance programs, the municipality or its designee may inspect all phases of the construction, operations, maintenance and any other implementation of stormwater BMPs.
During any stage of the regulated earth disturbance activities, if the municipality or its designee determines that any BMPs are not being implemented in accordance with this chapter, the municipality may suspend or revoke any existing permits or other approvals until the deficiencies are corrected.
Upon presentation of proper credentials, duly authorized representatives of the municipality may enter at reasonable times upon any property within the municipality to inspect the implementation, condition, or operation and maintenance of the stormwater BMPs in regard to any aspect governed by this chapter.
BMP owners and operators shall allow persons working on behalf of the municipality ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of determining compliance with this chapter.
Persons working on behalf of the municipality shall have the right to temporarily locate on any BMP in the municipality such devices as are necessary to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the discharges from such BMP.
Unreasonable delays in allowing the municipality access to a BMP is a violation of this chapter.
The municipality may charge a reasonable fee for review of BMP operations and maintenance plans to defray review costs incurred by the municipality. The applicant shall pay all such fees.
The fees required by this chapter may cover:
The review of the BMP operations and maintenance plan by the Municipal Engineer;
The site inspections, including, but not limited to, preconstruction meetings, inspections during construction of stormwater BMPs, and final inspection upon completion of the stormwater BMPs; or
Any additional work required to monitor and enforce any provisions of this chapter, correct violations, and assure proper completion of stipulated remedial actions.
No person in the municipality shall allow, or cause to allow, stormwater discharges into the municipality's separate storm sewer system which are not composed entirely of stormwater, except as provided in Subsection B hereof, and discharges allowed under a state or federal permit.
Discharges which may be allowed, based on a finding by the municipality that the discharge(s) do not significantly contribute to pollution to surface waters of the commonwealth, are:
Discharges from fire-fighting activities;
Potable water sources, including dechlorinated waterline and fire hydrant flushing;
Routine external building washdown (which does not use detergents or other compounds);
Water from individual residential car washing;
Water from crawl space pumps;
Uncontaminated water from foundation or from footing drains;
Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
Pavement washwaters where spills or leaks of toxic or hazardous materials have not occurred (unless all spill material has been removed) and where detergents are not used;
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges; and
In the event that the municipality determines that any of the discharges identified in Subsection B hereof significantly contribute to pollution of waters of the commonwealth, or is so notified by DEP, the municipality will notify the responsible person to cease the discharge.
Upon notice provided by the municipality under Subsection C hereof, the discharger will have a reasonable time, as determined by the municipality, to cease the discharge consistent with the degree of pollution caused by the discharge.
Nothing in this section shall affect a discharger's responsibilities under state law.
The following connections are prohibited, except as provided in § 289-25B:
Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows any nonstormwater discharge including sewage, process wastewater, and wash water to enter the separate storm sewer system, and any connections to the storm drain system from indoor drains and sinks; and
Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the separate storm sewer system which has not been documented in plans, maps or equivalent records and approved by the municipality.
Roof drains shall not be connected to streets, sanitary or storm sewers or roadside ditches, except as provided in Subsection B hereof.
When it is more advantageous to connect directly to streets or storm sewers, connections of roof drains to streets or roadside ditches may be permitted by the municipality.
Roof drains shall discharge to infiltration areas or vegetative BMPs to the maximum extent practicable.
No person shall modify, remove, fill, landscape or alter any existing stormwater BMP, unless it is part of an approved maintenance program, without the written approval of the municipality.
No person shall place any structure, fill, landscaping or vegetation into a stormwater BMP or within a drainage easement which would limit or alter the functioning of the BMP without the written approval of the municipality.
Whenever the municipality finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this chapter, the municipality may order compliance by written notice to the responsible person. Such notice may require without limitation:
The performance of monitoring, analyses and reporting;
The elimination of prohibited connections or discharges;
Cessation of any violating discharges, practices or operations;
The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property;
Payment of a fine to cover administrative and remediation costs;
The implementation of stormwater BMPs; and
Operation and maintenance of stormwater BMPs.
Such notification shall set forth the nature of the violation(s) and establish a time limit for correction of these violation(s). Said notice may further advise that, if applicable, should the violator fail to take the required action within the established deadline, the work will be done by the municipality or designee, and the expense thereof shall be charged to the violator.
Failure to comply within the time specified shall also subject such person to the penalty provisions of this chapter. All such penalties shall be deemed cumulative and shall not prevent the municipality from pursuing any and all other remedies available in law or equity.
Any building, land development or other permit or approval issued by the municipality may be suspended or revoked by the municipality for:
Noncompliance with or failure to implement any provision of the permit;
A violation of any provision of this chapter; or
The creation of any condition or the commission of any act during construction or development which constitutes or creates a hazard or nuisance, pollution or which endangers the life or property of others.
A suspended permit or approval shall be reinstated by the municipality when:
A permit or approval which has been revoked by the municipality cannot be reinstated. The applicant may apply for a new permit under the procedures outlined in this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by any action of the municipality or its designee, relevant to the provisions of this chapter, may appeal to the relevant judicial or administrative body according to law, within the time period allowed.