Township of Lehigh, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lehigh 11-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Floodplain management — See Ch. 83.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 138.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 147.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Activities, facilities, measures or procedures used to manage stormwater quantity and quality impacts from the regulated activities listed in Appendix A,[1] attached hereto and incorporated by reference, to meet state water quality requirements, to promote groundwater recharge and to otherwise meet the purposes of this chapter.
Documentation, included as part of a drainage plan, detailing the proposed BMPs, how they will be operated and maintained and who will be responsible.
A practice designed to direct runoff into the ground. e.g., French drain, seepage pit, seepage trench or bioretention area.
The determination of the depth to bedrock, the depth to the seasonal high water table and the soil permeability for a possible infiltration location on a site through the use of published data and on-site surveys. In carbonate bedrock areas, the location of special geologic features must also be determined along with the associated buffer distance to the possible infiltration area.
Earth disturbance activity other than agricultural plowing or tilling of one acre or more with a point source discharge to surface waters or to the municipality's storm sewer system or earth disturbance activity 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.
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of a plan which demonstrates compliance with this chapter.
Infiltration BMPs shall not be constructed on fill.
The applicant shall document the bedrock type(s) present on the site from published sources. Any apparent boundaries between carbonate and noncarbonate bedrock shall be verified through more detailed site evaluations by a qualified geotechnical professional.
For each proposed regulated activity in the watershed where an applicant intends to use infiltration BMPs, the applicant shall conduct a preliminary site investigation, including gathering data from published sources, a field inspection of the site, a minimum of one test pit and a minimum of two percolation tests, as outlined in Appendix B[1] attached and incorporated by reference. This investigation will determine depth to bedrock, depth to the seasonal high water table, soil permeability and location of special geologic features, if applicable. This investigation may be done by a certified sewage enforcement officer (SEO) except that the location(s) of special geologic features shall be verified by a qualified geotechnical professional.
Editor's Note: Appendix B is included at the end of this chapter.
The recharge volume (Rev) shall be infiltrated unless the applicant demonstrates that it is infeasible to infiltrate the Rev for reasons of seasonal high water table, permeability rate, soil depth or isolation distances. The Rev shall be calculated as follows:
Rev = (0.25) * (I)/12
Recharge Volume in acre-feet.
Impervious area in acres.
Sites where applicants intend to use infiltration BMPs must meet the following criteria:
Depth to bedrock below the invert of the BMP greater than or equal to two feet.
Depth to seasonal high water table below the invert of the BMP greater than or equal to three feet; except for infiltration of residential roof runoff where the seasonal high water table must be below the invert of the BMP. (If the depth to bedrock is between two and three feet and the evidence of the seasonal high water table is not found in the soil, no further testing to locate the depth to seasonal high water table is required.
Soil permeability (as measured by the adapted 25 PA Code § 73.15. percolation test in Appendix B) greater than or equal to 0.5 inches/hour and less than or equal to 12 inches per hour.
Setback distances or buffers as follows:
One hundred feet from water supply wells.
Fifteen feet down-gradient or 100 feet up-gradient from building foundations; except for residential development where the required setback is 15 feet down-gradient or 40 feet up-gradient from building foundations.
Fifty feet from septic system drain fields; except for residential development where the required setback is 25 feet from septic system drain fields.
Fifty feet from a geologic contact with carbonate bedrock unless a preliminary site investigation is done in the carbonate bedrock to show the absence of special geologic features within 50 feet of the proposed infiltration area.
One hundred feet from the property line unless documentation is provided to show that all setbacks from existing or potential future wells, foundations and drain fields on neighboring properties will be met.
The preliminary site investigation described in Subsection D is required and shall continue on different areas of the site until a potentially suitable infiltration location is found or the entire site is determined to be infeasible for infiltration. For infiltration areas that appear to be feasible based on the preliminary site investigation, the additional site investigation and testing as outlined in Appendix B shall be completed. If an applicant proposes infiltration, the municipality may determine infiltration to be infeasible if there are known existing conditions or problems that may be worsened by the use of infiltration.
DEP or its designees (e.g., County Conservation District) 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 issued by the municipality or other approvals issued by the municipality until the deficiencies are corrected.
The municipality may charge a reasonable fee for review of the drainage plan, including the BMP operations and maintenance plan, to defray review costs incurred by the municipality. The applicant shall pay all such fees.
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;
If a plan includes operations and maintenance by a single owner 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.
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.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the municipality, pay a judgment of not more than $500 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the municipality as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the district justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the municipality may enforce the judgment pursuant to a separate violation, unless the district justice, determining that there has been a violation, further determines that there was a good-faith basis for the person, partnership, or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the district justice and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
The court of common pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay upon cause shown, tolling the per diem judgment pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the municipality the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
District justices shall have initial jurisdiction in proceedings brought under this section.
In addition, the municipality, through its solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this chapter. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.