This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "East Hempfield Township Stormwater Management Ordinance (SWMO)."
The Board of Supervisors of the East Hempfield Township finds that:
Inadequate management of accelerated stormwater runoff resulting from development throughout a watershed increases flood flows and velocities, contributes to erosion and sedimentation, overtaxes the carrying capacity of existing streams and storm sewers, greatly increases the cost of public facilities to convey and manage stormwater, undermines floodplain management and flood control efforts here and in downstream communities, reduces groundwater recharge, threatens public health and safety, and increases nonpoint source pollution of water resources.
A comprehensive program of SWM, including reasonable regulation of development and activities causing accelerated runoff, is fundamental to the public health, safety, welfare, and the protection of the people of the Township and all the people of the Commonwealth, their resources, and the environment.
Stormwater is an important water resource, which provides groundwater recharge for water supplies and base flow of streams, which also protects and maintains surface water quality.
Federal and state regulations require certain municipalities including East Hempfield Township to implement a program of stormwater controls. These municipalities are required to obtain a permit for stormwater discharges from their municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
Riparian forest buffers and wetland areas enhance water quality by filtering pollutants in runoff, providing light control and temperature moderation, processing pollutants, increasing infiltration and providing channel and shoreline stability thus decreasing erosion (DEP Riparian Forest Buffer Guidance, November 27, 2010).
The purpose of this chapter is to promote health, safety, and welfare by minimizing the harms and maximizing the benefits described in § 260-2 of this chapter through provisions designed to:
Meet legal water quality requirements under state law, including regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 to protect, maintain, reclaim, and restore the existing and designated uses of the waters of this commonwealth.
Preserve the natural drainage systems as much as practicable.
Manage stormwater runoff close to the source.
Provide procedures and performance standards for stormwater planning and management.
Maintain groundwater recharge to prevent degradation of surface and groundwater quality and to otherwise protect water resources.
Prevent scour and erosion of stream banks and streambeds.
Provide proper operation and maintenance of all stormwater management best management practices (SWM BMPs) that are implemented within the Township.
Provide standards to meet NPDES permit requirements.
Promote stormwater runoff prevention through the use of nonstructural best management practices (BMPs).
Provide a regulatory environment that supports the proportion, density and intensity of development called for in the comprehensive plan; allow for creative methods of improving water quality and managing stormwater runoff; and promote a regional approach to water resource management.
Help preserve and protect exceptional natural resources, and conserve and restore natural resource systems.
Promote stormwater management practices that emphasize infiltration, evaporation, and transpiration.
Primary authority: The Township is empowered to regulate these activities by the authority of the Act of October 4, 1978, 32 P.L. 864 (Act 167), 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., as amended, the "Storm Water Management Act," and Act 394 of 1937, as amended, 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq., the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law. The Township also is empowered to regulate land use activities that affect stormwater impacts by the authority of the Second Class Township Code, Act of May 1, 1933, P.L. 103, No. 69, as reenacted and amended by the Act of November 9, 1995, P.L. 350, No. 60, as amended.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 65101 et seq.
The provisions, regulations, limitations, and restrictions of this chapter shall apply to regulated activities, as defined in this chapter.
This chapter applies to any regulated earth-disturbance activities within the Township and all stormwater runoff entering into the Township's separate storm sewer system from lands within the boundaries of the Township.
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.
The provisions, regulations, limitations, and restrictions of this chapter governing maintenance of SWM facilities shall apply to all SWM facilities existing on the date of this chapter or installed after the date of this chapter and shall apply to all persons responsible for maintenance of such SWM facilities and all persons who own or occupy the land upon which such SWM facilities are located.
The provisions, regulations, limitations and restrictions of this chapter governing grading, erosion and sedimentation control, excavation and other earth-disturbance activities shall apply to all persons performing any such activities within the Township and to all landowners of lots upon which such activities are performed.
No person shall use or modify any land or watercourse, and no person shall disturb, move, strip or modify the earth, and no person shall build, install or extend any structure or other impervious surface or semi-impervious surface without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations.
It shall be the responsibility of the developer and, if different, the landowner, to ensure that all contractors, agents or other persons comply with all requirements of the chapter and with any approved SWM site plan or stormwater management permit.
Any other ordinance provision(s) or regulation of the Township inconsistent with any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby repealed to the extent of the inconsistency only.
Except as otherwise required by law, this chapter is intended as a continuation of, and not a repeal of, existing regulations governing the subject matter. To the extent that this chapter restates regulations contained in ordinances previously enacted by the Board of Supervisors, this chapter shall be considered a restatement and not a repeal of such regulations. It is the specific intent of the Board of Supervisors that all provisions of this chapter shall be considered in full force and effect as of the date such regulations were initially enacted. All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed. It is expressly provided that the provisions of this chapter shall not affect any act done, contract executed or liability incurred prior to its effective date, or affect any suit or prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any rights, rule, regulation or ordinance, or part thereof, or to punish any violation which occurred under any prior stormwater regulation or ordinance. In the event any violation has occurred under any prior stormwater regulation or ordinance of East Hempfield Township, prosecution may be initiated against the alleged offender pursuant to the provisions of said prior stormwater regulation or ordinance, and the provisions and penalties provided in said prior stormwater regulation or ordinance shall remain effective as to said violation.
Any plan (hereinafter defined) pending at the time of the effective date of this chapter shall be allowed to proceed with revisions, finalization and implementation in accordance with any ordinance in effect prior hereto.
Approvals issued pursuant to this chapter do not relieve the applicant of the responsibility to secure required permits or approvals for activities regulated by any other applicable code, rule, act, or ordinance.
Any permit or authorization issued or approved based on false, misleading or erroneous information provided by an applicant is void without the necessity of any proceedings for revocation. Any work undertaken or use established pursuant to such permit or other authorization is unlawful. No action may be taken by a board, agency or employee of the Township purporting to validate such a violation.
Except as specifically provided by the Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act, Act of October 4, 1978, P.L. 864, No. 167, as amended, 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., the making of any administrative decision by the Township or any of its officials or employees shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by the Township of the practicability or safety of any proposed structure or use with respect to damage from erosion, sedimentation, stormwater runoff, flood, or any other matter, and shall create no liability upon or give rise to any cause of action against the Township and its officials and employees. The Township, by enacting and amending this chapter, does not waive or limit any immunity granted to the Township and its officials and employees by the Governmental Immunity Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8541 et seq., and does not assume any liabilities or obligations.
Notwithstanding any provision(s) of this chapter, including exemptions, any landowner or any person engaged in the alteration or development of land which may affect stormwater runoff characteristics shall implement such measures as are reasonably necessary to prevent injury to health, safety, or other property. Such measures also shall include actions as are required to manage the rate, volume, direction, and quality of resulting stormwater runoff in a manner which otherwise adequately protects health, property, and water quality.