Sewer District No. 1 — See Ch. 260.
ARTICLE IIllicit Discharges, Activities and Connections (§ 285-1 — § 285-19)
§ 285-1Purpose and objectives.
§ 285-4Responsibility for administration.
§ 285-6Discharge prohibitions.
§ 285-7Activities contaminating stormwater prohibited.
§ 285-8Prevention, control and reduction of stormwater pollutants
by use of best management practices.
§ 285-9Suspension of access to MS4.
§ 285-10Industrial or construction activity discharges.
§ 285-11Access and monitoring of discharges.
§ 285-12Notification of spills.
§ 285-13Notice of violation; penalties for offenses.
§ 285-14Appeal of notice of violation.
§ 285-15Corrective measures after appeal.
§ 285-16Injunctive relief.
§ 285-17Alternative remedies.
§ 285-18Violations deemed a public nuisance.
§ 285-19Remedies not exclusive.
The purpose of this article is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the County of Saratoga through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the County's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law. This article establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the County MS4 in order to comply with requirements of the SPDES General Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. The objectives of this article are to:
Meet the requirements of the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from MS4s, Permit No. GP-02-02, or as amended or revised;
Regulate the contribution of pollutants to the County MS4 since such a system is not designed to accept, process or discharge nonstormwater wastes;
Prohibit illicit connections, activities and discharges to the County MS4;
Establish legal authority to carry out all inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this article; and
Promote public awareness of the hazards involved in the improper discharge of trash, yard waste, lawn chemicals, pet waste, wastewater, grease, oil, petroleum products, cleaning products, paint products, hazardous waste, sediment and other pollutants into the County MS4.
Whenever used in this article, unless a different meaning is stated in a definition applicable to only a portion of this article, the following terms will have meanings set forth below:
- 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.
- The County of Saratoga Commissioner of Public Works.
- CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
- Activities requiring authorization under the SPDES permit for stormwater discharges from construction activity, GP-02-01, as amended or revised. These activities include construction projects resulting in land disturbance of one or more acres. Such activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating, and demolition.
- The County of Saratoga.
- COUNTY MS4
- County municipal 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):
Owned or operated by the County of Saratoga;
Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;
Which is not a combined sewer;
Which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) as defined at 40 CFR 122.2; and
Which is within the urbanized or "MS4" Area of Saratoga County as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau (see attached map).Editor's Note: The map is included at the end of this chapter.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
- 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.
- ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
- Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the County MS4, including but not limited to:
Any conveyances which allow any nonstormwater discharge, including treated or untreated sewage, process wastewater, and washwater to enter the County MS4 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 County MS4 which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records and approved by an authorized enforcement agency.
- ILLICIT DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the County MS4, except as exempted in § 285-6 of this article.
- INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
- Activities requiring the SPDES permit for discharges from industrial activities except construction, GP-98-03, as amended or revised.
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the County MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater.
- 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.
- Dredged spoil, filter backwash, solid waste, incinerator residue, treated or untreated sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste and ballast discharged into water which may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause pollution of the waters of the state in contravention of the standards.
- Any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.
- STATE POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (SPDES) STORMWATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
- A permit issued by the Department that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the state.
- Rainwater, surface runoff, snowmelt and drainage.
- 303(d) LIST
- A list of all surface waters in the state for which beneficial uses of the water (drinking, recreation, aquatic habitat, and industrial use) are impaired by pollutants, prepared periodically by the Department as required by Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. 303(d) listed waters are estuaries, lakes and streams that fall short of state surface water quality standards and are not expected to improve within the next two years.
- Total maximum daily load.
- TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD
- The maximum amount of a pollutant to be allowed to be released into a water body so as not to impair uses of the water allocated among the sources of that pollutant.
- Water that is not stormwater, is contaminated with pollutants and is or will be discarded.
This article shall apply to all water entering the County MS4 generated on any developed and undeveloped lands unless explicitly exempted by an authorized enforcement agency.
The County of Saratoga Commissioner of Public Works shall administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this article. Such powers granted or duties imposed upon the authorized enforcement official may be delegated in writing by the Commissioner as may be authorized by the County.
The provisions of this article are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this article 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 article.
Prohibition of illegal discharges. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the County MS4 any materials other than stormwater except as provided in Subsection A. The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the County MS4 is prohibited except as described as follows:
The following discharges are exempt from discharge prohibitions established by this article, unless the Department or the County of Saratoga has determined them to be substantial contributors of pollutants: water line flushing or other potable water sources, landscape irrigation or lawn watering, existing diverted stream flows, rising groundwater, uncontaminated groundwater infiltration to storm drains, uncontaminated pumped groundwater, foundation or footing drains, crawl space or basement sump pumps, air-conditioning condensate, irrigation water, springs, water from individual residential car washing, natural riparian habitat or wetland flows, dechlorinated swimming pool discharges, residential street wash water, water from fire-fighting activities, and any other water source not containing pollutants. Such exempt discharges shall be made in accordance with an appropriate plan for reducing pollutants.
Discharges approved in writing by the Commissioner to protect life or property from imminent harm or damage, provided that such approval shall not be construed to constitute compliance with other applicable laws and requirements, and further provided that such discharges may be permitted for a specified time period and under such conditions as the Commissioner may deem appropriate to protect such life and property while reasonably maintaining the purpose and intent of this article.
Dye testing in compliance with applicable state and local laws is an allowable discharge but requires a verbal notification to the Commissioner prior to the time of the test.
The prohibition shall not apply to any discharge permitted under an SPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Department, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, and provided that written approval has been granted for any discharge to the County MS4.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the County MS4 is prohibited.
This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of connection.
A person is considered to be in violation of this article if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the County MS4, or allows such a connection to continue.
Activities that are subject to the requirements of this section are those types of activities that:
Upon notification to a person that he or she is engaged in activities that cause or contribute to violations of the County MS4 SPDES permit authorization, that person shall take all reasonable actions to correct such activities such that he or she no longer causes or contributes to violations of the County MS4 SPDES permit authorization.
Where the Commissioner has identified illicit discharges as defined in § 285-2 or activities contaminating stormwater as defined in § 285-7, the County may require implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to control those illicit discharges and activities.
The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at its own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the County MS4 through the use of structural and nonstructural BMPs.
Any person responsible for a property or premises which is, or may be, the source of an illicit discharge as defined in § 285-2 or an activity contaminating stormwater as defined in § 285-7, may be required to implement, at said person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to reduce or eliminate the source of pollutant(s) to the County MS4.
Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid SPDES permit authorizing the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed compliance with the provisions of this section.
The Commissioner may, without prior notice, suspend County MS4 discharge access to a person when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge which presents or may present imminent and substantial danger to the environment, to the health or welfare of persons, or to the County MS4. The Commissioner shall notify the person of such suspension within a reasonable time thereafter in writing of the reasons for the suspension. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the Commissioner may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the County MS4 or to minimize danger to persons.
Suspension due to the detection of illicit discharge. Any person discharging to the County MS4 in violation of this article may have the person's access to the County MS4 terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The Commissioner will notify a violator in writing of the proposed termination of its County MS4 access and the reasons therefor. The violator may petition the Commissioner for a reconsideration and hearing. Access may be granted by the Commissioner if he/she finds that the illicit discharge has ceased and the discharger has taken steps to prevent its recurrence. Access may be denied if the Commissioner determines in writing that the illicit discharge has not ceased or is likely to recur. A person commits an offense if the person reinstates County MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section without the prior approval of the Commissioner.
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity SPDES stormwater discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of such permit. Proof of compliance with said permit may be required in a form acceptable to the County of Saratoga prior to the allowing of discharges to the County MS4.
Applicability. This section applies to all facilities that the Commissioner must inspect to enforce any provision of this article, or whenever the authorized enforcement agency has cause to believe that there exists, or potentially exists, in or upon any premises any condition which constitutes a violation of this article.
Access to facilities.
The Commissioner shall be permitted to enter and inspect facilities subject to regulation under this article as often as may be necessary to determine compliance with this article. If a discharger has security measures in force which require proper identification and clearance before entry into its premises, the discharger shall make the necessary arrangements to allow access to the Commissioner.
Facility operators shall allow the Commissioner ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, examination and copying of records as may be required to implement this article.
The County of Saratoga shall have the right to set up on any facility subject to this article such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the Commissioner to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the facility's stormwater discharge.
The County of Saratoga has the right to require the facilities subject to this article to install monitoring equipment as is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this article. The facility's sampling and monitoring equipment shall be maintained at all times in a safe and proper operating condition by the discharger at its own expense. All devices used to measure stormwater flow and quality shall be calibrated to ensure their accuracy.
Unreasonable delay in allowing the County of Saratoga access to a facility subject to this article is a violation of this article. A person who is the operator of a facility subject to this article commits an offense if the person denies the County of Saratoga reasonable access to the facility for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this article.
If the Commissioner has been refused access to any part of the premises from which stormwater is discharged, and he/she is able to demonstrate probable cause to believe that there may be a violation of this article, or that there is a need to inspect and/or sample as part of a routine inspection and sampling program designed to verify compliance with this article or any order issued hereunder, then the Commissioner may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
Notwithstanding other requirements of law, as soon as any person responsible for a facility or operation or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of any known or suspected release of materials which are resulting or may result in illegal discharges or pollutants discharging into the County MS4, said person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of such release. In the event of such a release of hazardous materials said person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, said person shall notify the County of Saratoga in person or by telephone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by telephone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the County of Saratoga within three business days of the telephone notice. If the discharge of prohibited materials emanates from a commercial or industrial establishment, the owner or operator of such establishment shall also retain an on-site written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
Notice of violation. When the Commissioner finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this article, he/she may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person.
Such notice may require, without limitation:
The elimination of illicit connections or discharges;
That violating discharges, practices, or operations shall cease and desist;
The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property;
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
Payment of a fine; and
The implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
If abatement of a violation and/or restoration of affected property is required, the notice shall set forth a deadline within which such remediation or restoration must be completed. Said notice shall further advise that, should the violator fail to remediate or restore within the established deadline, the work will be done by a designated governmental agency or a contractor and the expense thereof shall be charged to the violator.
Penalties. In addition to or as an alternative to any penalty provided herein or by law, any person who violates the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purposes of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this County law shall be deemed misdemeanors and for such purpose only all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
Any person receiving a notice of violation may appeal the determination of the Commissioner within 15 days of its issuance to the County of Saratoga Board of Supervisors, which shall hear the appeal within 30 days after the filing of the appeal and, within five days of making its decision, file its decision in the office of the County Clerk and mail a copy of its decision by certified mail to the discharger.
If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to the requirements set forth in the notice of violation, or, in the event of an appeal, within five business days of the decision of the Board of Supervisors (of the County of Saratoga) upholding the decision of the Commissioner, then the Commissioner shall request the owner's permission for access to the subject private property to take any and all measures reasonably necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property.
If refused access to the subject private property, the Commissioner may seek a warrant in a court of competent jurisdiction to be authorized to enter upon the property to determine whether a violation has occurred. Upon determination that a violation has occurred, the Commissioner may seek a court order to take any and all measures reasonably necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property. The cost of implementing and maintaining such measures shall be the sole responsibility of the discharger.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this article. If a person has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this article, the Commissioner may petition for a preliminary or permanent injunction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
Where a person has violated a provision of this article, he/she may be eligible for alternative remedies in lieu of a civil penalty, upon recommendation of the County Attorney and concurrence of the Commissioner, where:
In addition to the enforcement processes and penalties provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this article is a threat to public health, safety, and welfare and is declared and deemed a nuisance and may be summarily abated or restored at the violator's expense, and/or a civil action to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance may be taken.
The remedies listed in this article are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law, and it is within the discretion of the authorized enforcement agency to seek cumulative remedies.