[HISTORY: Adopted by the Plainville Board of Health 1-23-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 540.
Water protection — See Ch. 611.
Wastewater disposal systems — See Ch. 767.
Editor's Note: These regulations also superseded former Ch. 680, Public and Environmental Health, adopted 3-5-2015.
This regulation is adopted under MGL c. 111, § 31, which gives the Board of Health (hereafter designated as "the Board" or "BOH") authority to make reasonable health regulations, violations for which shall be punished by violation notices, administrative orders, civil and criminal court actions and/or fines in accordance with § 680-14 of these regulations.
This regulation is also adopted under MGL c. 111, § 122, which directs the Board to examine all nuisances, sources of filth, and causes of sickness within the Town which may, in its opinion, be injurious to the public health and to destroy, remove, or prevent the same as the case may require.
These regulations are intended to protect the public and environmental health, provide adequate water supply and wastewater treatment, and ensure that there will be adequate protection against flooding, sedimentation, siltation and other drainage problems.
The following activities will require the submission of an EHIR and issuance of an environmental health permit (EHP) from the Board of Health prior to the start of construction. Projects which trigger more than one threshold activity require only one comprehensive filing for all the activities.
The creation of five or more dwelling units on one or more contiguous parcels of land, whether in a subdivision or on an existing public or private roadway. The 2014 Plainville Assessor's maps and assessment database shall be utilized to determine the number of new dwelling units created. The requirement to file for an EHIR is triggered when the fifth unit is created over that shown on the 2014 data, regardless of project phasing;
Any commercial or industrial development with a gross floor area exceeding 7,500 square feet;
Any project with a design sewage flow of 2,200 gallons per day or greater, unless serviced by a municipal sanitary system;
Any multifamily development requiring a special permit from the Planning Board;
Any earth removal project exceeding 350 cubic yards of material per house lot, or 1,000 cubic yards of material per project, exclusive of material removed for foundation and utility excavation (Note: Stormwater basins designed in compliance with these regulations are considered utilities.);
Any project that creates more than 5,000 square feet of impervious area, or that will create less than 5,000 square feet of impervious area but is part of a common plan of development or sale that will ultimately create 5,000 square feet or more of impervious area;
Any project that will result in more than 5,000 square feet of paving, unless the underlying surface is already paved.
Any project that triggers an EPA NPDES permit by the disturbance of more than one acre of land, or that will disturb less than one acre but is part of a common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb one acre or more;
Any direct or indirect stormwater discharge to the municipal drainage system that is not in compliance with the NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems;
Any direct or indirect non-stormwater discharge to the municipal drainage system, whether or not the outflow is regulated under the NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems, that is not an allowed discharge as listed below:
Allowable non-stormwater discharges.
Diverted stream flows.
Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration [as defined at 40 CFR 35.2005(20)].
Uncontaminated pumped groundwater.
Discharge from potable water sources.
Irrigation water, springs.
Water from crawl space pumps.
Individual resident car washing.
Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands.
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges.
Street wash water.
Residential building wash waters, without detergents.
Discharges or flows from fire-fighting activities that occur during emergency situations. The permittee is not expected to evaluate fire-fighting discharges with regard to pollutant contributions. Therefore, these discharges are authorized as allowable non-stormwater discharges, unless identified by the Board of Health as significant sources of pollutants to waters of the United States.
Single-family home projects that exceed the thresholds listed above may request a waiver from these regulations. After a review of the written waiver request, the Board may waive the requirements of these regulations after making a determination that there will be no impacts to public and environmental health.
Any applicant required to file an EHIR with the Board shall have the burden of proving by submission of a preponderance of credible evidence that the proposed work, subject to suitable conditions issued by the Board, shall not have unacceptable significant and/or cumulative effect upon the public or environmental health.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)
- Construction-phase or permanent structural components designed, constructed, operated and maintained to improve stormwater quality and/or to convey or impound stormwater.
- Sharing a boundary, including adjacent parcels separated by a public or private way.
- IMPERVIOUS or IMPERVIOUS AREA
- A hard surface which either prevents or retards the entry of water into the underlying soil compared to natural conditions prior to development, and/or a hard surface which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow compared to natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to rooftops; roads; walkways; patios; driveways; parking lots; storage areas; concrete, asphalt, brick or block pavements; packed or compacted gravel surfaces; packed earthen surfaces; and oiled, macadam or other surfaces which similarly impede the natural infiltration of stormwater. Porous pavement is not considered impervious if said porous pavement system is designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with MassDEP Stormwater Handbook and accepted industry practices.
- MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE (MEP)
- The greatest reasonable effort to address protection of the environment from human activity. The Board of Health may consider such factors as significance of the natural resource, proximity of the proposed human activity in relation to the natural resource, and specific site conditions when determining whether the maximum extent possible has been achieved.
- NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) GENERAL PERMIT FOR STORMWATER DISCHARGES FROM SMALL MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEMS (MS4 PERMIT)
- A general permit issued by the US EPA under the provisions of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) that regulates discharges from small municipal separate storm sewer systems.
- Every individual, partnership, corporation, firm, association, group, or governmental entity owning property or carrying on an activity subject to this regulation.
Written applications shall be filed with the Board for all activities which come under the jurisdiction of this regulation. The application shall include such information, plans and reports as are required by the Board to describe the proposed activities and their effects upon the public health and the environment. No such activities shall commence without receiving and complying with a permit issued by the Board pursuant to these regulations.
The reports shall meet the criteria required by this and all other applicable Board regulations and shall provide specific information relative to the operation of the proposed water supply systems, sewage treatment and disposal systems and stormwater management systems, including:
A copy of the Plainville Board of Health Submittal Guidelines for Subdivision Plans, Site Plans or Other Types of Project Plans form shall be completed and filed with each application.
The applicant shall also evaluate the impact of the project on public and private water supply sources.
The Board may, in appropriate cases, accept as the application and plans under these regulations the following filings to other municipal boards or commissions:
Notice of intent filed with the Conservation Commission.
Building permit applications filed with the Building Inspector.
Earth removal permit applications filed with the special permit granting authority.
Definitive plans and special permit development applications filed with the Planning Board.
In such cases, additional information shall be required when applicable to provide the complete submittal requirements of this regulation.
At the time of application or request to the Board, the applicant shall pay a filing fee to the Town of Plainville as may be set from time to time by the Board.
In addition to the filing fee, as provided by MGL c. 44, § 53G, and in accordance with MGL c. 111, § 31, the Board may impose reasonable fees for the employment of outside consultants, engaged by the Board, for specific expert services deemed necessary by the Board in implementing its authority and issuing final decisions on applications submitted to the Board pursuant to the requirements of any state or municipal statutes, bylaws or regulations, as they may be amended or enacted from time to time.
Permeability testing at proposed stormwater basins is required to be witnessed by the Board of Health or its designee. An initial deposit for witnessing this testing will be required based on fees charged under § 680-6C(2) and is required prior to the testing. Consultant fees for a minimum of four hours will be required. This fee shall be submitted in addition to the fees listed below and may be paid prior to the submittal of an EHIR.
At the time of filing, an initial deposit of $2,000 may be required to initiate consulting services. The Board may request additional consultant fees if the necessary review requires a greater expenditure than the initial deposit will cover and/or if new information requires additional consultant services. Failure by the applicant to pay the consultant fee specified by the Board within 20 days of the request for payment shall be cause for the Board to determine that the application is administratively incomplete and may serve as the basis for denying the application (except in the case of an appeal of the selection of the consultant under MGL c. 44, § 53G, and these rules). The Board shall state such in a letter to the applicant. No additional review or action shall be taken on the permit request until the applicant has paid the requested fee.
The Board may also require the applicant to pay for consultant services deemed necessary by the Board to review the construction and operation of approved applications prior to completion of the project.
At the time of filing, the applicant may appeal the selection of the outside consultant to the Plainville Board of Selectmen, who may disqualify the outside consultant selected only on the grounds that the consultant has a conflict of interest or does not possess the minimum required qualifications. The minimum qualifications shall consist of either an educational degree or three or more years of practice in the field at issue or a related field. Such an appeal must be in writing and received by the Selectmen and a copy received by the Board of Health, so as to be received within 20 days of the date consultant fees were requested by the Board of Health. The required time limits for action upon an application shall be extended by the duration of the administrative appeal. In the event that no decision is made by the Plainville Board of Selectmen within one month following the filing of the appeal, the selection made by the Board of Health shall stand. Such an administrative appeal shall not preclude further judicial review, if otherwise permitted by law, on the grounds provided for in MGL c. 44, § 53G.
Board of Health action.
The Board of Health shall hold a public meeting within 65 days of the date of filing of the application, with all required materials and fees, unless an extension of the time is mutually agreed to by both the applicant and the Board of Health.
The public meeting for the application may be continued by mutual consent of both the applicant and the Board of Health. Within 30 days of the public meeting at which the application is voted on, the Board of Health shall issue an environmental health permit, which may contain conditions; or shall issue a denial which shall cite the reasons for such denial.
The proposed source of water supply shall provide water of a quantity and quality in accordance with Town, state, and federal water supply standards for domestic use. In the case of sites to be served by on-site wells, a hydrogeological evaluation showing groundwater flow directions and the proposed placement of wells and septic systems must be shown.
The applicant shall submit evidence that:
The proposed location of the project has soil conditions suitable for the subsurface disposal of sanitary or other applicable types of wastewaters in accordance with the regulations of the Board, along with all applicable state and federal regulations.
Disposal of wastewaters shall not degrade the groundwater or surface waters in a manner inconsistent with their proposed use.
For any subdivision not serviced by a municipal sewer having five or more dwelling units or any project having a design wastewater flow of 2,200 gallons per day or more, a hydrogeological evaluation shall be performed by a qualified engineer or geologist, at the expense of the applicant, to be reviewed by the Board for this determination. Hydrogeological evaluations shall include:
Determination of geologic stratigraphy.
Determination of groundwater flow directions.
Determination of maximum groundwater elevation.
Determination of minimum groundwater elevation when relevant.
Evaluation of water table mounding.
Prediction of down gradient water quality impacts at project's property line.
Maximum groundwater elevation shall be determined by the method of soil morphology as determined by a state approved soil evaluator with the agreement of the Board of Health Agent or by direct observation during the season of the year when the water table is high as determined by the Board and as adjusted by the method described in "U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Investigations, Open-file Report 80-1205 - Probable High Groundwater Levels in Massachusetts."
These regulations for stormwater management are intended to protect the public and environmental health by providing adequate protection against pollutants, flooding, sedimentation, siltation and other drainage problems.
The stormwater management design shall include a control strategy and plan for source control and best management practices (BMP) for any particular development or project and shall accomplish the following goals:
Reproduce, as nearly as possible, the hydrological conditions in the ground- and surface waters prior to development.
Reduce stormwater pollution to the maximum extent possible (MEP) using best management practices (BMPs).
Provide a clear procedure for both short- and long-term upkeep and maintenance of all proposed stormwater facilities, including a listing of the responsible parties, financial responsibilities and reporting obligations for the project and proposed short- and long-term inspection and maintenance forms.
Have a neutral effect on the natural and human environment.
Be appropriate for the site, given physical constraints as determined by the Board of Health.
Provide a sufficient level of health and environmental protection during the construction phase.
An acceptable stormwater management plan shall comply with the following:
Capture and treat the first flush of stormwater, being the first 1/2 inch or one inch of runoff in accordance with the MassDEP Stormwater Handbook. Such treatment shall be by extended detention or infiltration providing a minimum of 24 hours' average detention time, unless other methods are specifically allowed by the Board of Health.
Not cause an increase or decrease in either the total volume or the peak rate of runoff discharged off site at any location that existed prior to the development. Such condition shall be required for storms of one-, two-, ten-, twenty-five-, and 100-year frequency events.
Comply with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Stormwater Standards (the Standards) as required by the MassDEP Stormwater Handbook (the Handbook) dated January 2, 2008, or as may be updated from time to time, regardless of the project's proximity to resource areas protected per 310 CMR 10.00. Include the design of source controls, BMPs and stormwater infiltration and detention structures in accordance with procedures acceptable to the Board of Health and the Massachusetts DEP. For the purpose of evaluating compliance with Chapter 680, the use of the term "impervious" or impervious area" shall be as defined herein at § 680-5. For the purpose of evaluating compliance with the Standards and the Handbook, the use of the term "impervious" or "impervious area" shall be as defined in the Handbook and/or as interpreted by MassDEP.
Soil testing to determine groundwater elevations and soil permeability shall be performed in accordance with the latest edition of the MassDEP Stormwater Handbook. Depending on soil conditions observed on site, the Board may require additional testing to determine the correct design loading rates to be utilized, including but not limited to in situ permeability testing. Soil testing shall be witnessed by the Board of Health (BOH) or its designee prior to a written environmental health permit application being submitted, subject to the fees listed in § 680-6C(2)(a).
If detention, infiltration or retention ponds are utilized, slopes shall be no steeper than four horizontal to one vertical on interior slopes and no steeper than three horizontal to one vertical on exterior slopes. The maximum water depth for storms up to the 100-year storm event shall not exceed three feet at any time. The minimum bottom slope for dry detention areas shall be 0.5%. A safety bench, a minimum of 10 feet wide, shall be provided on all sides of the basin, no higher than two feet above the 100-year peak water elevation. Detention, infiltration or retention areas shall not be constructed within existing stream bed or wetland areas or within 10 feet of a public or private way.
Off-site surface water runoff shall not result in flow channelization without the written consent of all owners of all the land affected, in the form of a permanent grant of easement, recorded at the Registry of Deeds.
Include hydrologic and hydraulic calculations and data to support the proposed design for the runoff drainage system. Both volume and flow rate of runoff, before and after development, must be clearly stated therein. Calculations shall be performed using the most recent procedures of the USDA Soil Conservation Service such as are described in National Engineering Handbook, Section 4, Hydrology (SCS 1985), TR-20 Computer Program for Project Formulation — Hydrology (SCS 1983), and Technical Release No. 55 Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds (SCS 1986). Impoundment structure design shall comply with generally accepted engineering standards, Massachusetts DEP Stormwater regulations (whether or not the project lies within wetlands jurisdiction), and all other applicable local, state and federal regulations for detention and retention containment areas or other designated references. Additional design guidelines may be on file with the Board of Health. Rainfall event amounts shall be as derived from the latest Atlases of Precipitation as published by the Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (www.precip.eas.cornell.edu). Rainfall amounts shall be for twenty-four-hour storm events as shown on the chart entitled "Extreme Precipitation Estimate."
Provide evidence to demonstrate clearly to the Board of Health that the effect on groundwater and surface waters shall be in accordance with the specifications previously designated herein.
Include stormwater system operation and maintenance requirements and identification of the BMPs to be maintained as a separate eight-and-one-half-by-eleven document in addition to also inscribing the construction phase operation and maintenance requirements on the plans.
Plans submitted pursuant to this regulation shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Proposed source of water supply.
Data for a sufficient number of test holes, soil logs, maximum groundwater elevations, and properly conducted percolation tests to:
A topographical map of the property with contours referring to National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NAVD 1988) and showing:
Existing and proposed topographic contours at two-foot intervals or at greater intervals as approved by the Board.
Sufficient spot grades, where necessary, to define topography between topographic contours.
The location and elevation of all test holes.
How the surface drainage is to be handled, including nearby affected areas.
All pertinent physical features, including ponds, swamps, wetlands, water supplies, seasonal watercourses, swales, areas of ledge and rock.
An overlay of floodplain, drainage watershed areas, USDA soil map characterization for soil type and hydrologic group, USDA soil limitations for septic tank sewage disposal, and aquifer designation where applicable.
Sufficient data to demonstrate no deleterious individual or cumulative impact of subsurface sewage disposal upon groundwater quality. Failure to do so may result in findings by the Board that such affected lots cannot be used for building sites without injury to the public health.
Evidence to demonstrate clearly to the Board that water supply shall be adequate as previously designated herein.
Evidence to demonstrate clearly to the Board that the effect on groundwater and surface waters shall be in accordance with the specifications previously designated herein.
Failure to submit adequate or correct data or information as required will constitute grounds for Board denial of the permit for the project site as a whole, or of individual lots or portions therein.
The Board of Health is often required to make reports and provide approvals for projects that are submitted to other local boards and committees. For example, definitive subdivision plans and special permits that are submitted to the Planning Board require a Board of Health response, which is regulated by both statutory and local timelines. Submittals to other boards that also require a permit under these regulations will be reviewed by the BOH for compliance with these regulations. However, a submittal for an EHP, along with the associated fees and application forms, is often not made concurrently to the BOH. The BOH is of the opinion that, in order to adequately protect public safety, an approval regarding plans submitted to it by other boards cannot be made until the appropriate EHIR has been filed, and an EHP granted. In those instances where the requested items are not filed in a timely manner, the BOH may issue a denial or negative recommendation in response to the request from another Board for its opinion or approval until such time as an EHP has been granted under these regulations.
No well permits or disposal works construction permits shall be granted for any project subject to this regulation until the Board has issued the environmental health permit.
Prior to granting a permit under these regulations, the Board shall make findings with supporting documentation. The Board may issue the environmental health permit based on the review of the impacts of the project documentation as specified in this regulation if said Board finds that the proposed project will comply with all of the standards of this regulation.
The Board may impose long-term monitoring and reporting requirements as part of its approval conditions. Conditions may require the submission of monitoring, cleaning and maintenance reports for each stormwater management device in order to ensure continued compliance with both the short- and long-term requirements of the operation and maintenance plan. Failure to maintain the system and submit required reports is cause for penalties to be imposed as detailed in § 680-14. In instances where stormwater devices are proposed on private property and an access easement to the Town has not been provided (e.g., roof drain systems, small rain gardens, depressions, etc.), the Board may require additional legal documentation be provided by the applicant to ensure that the ongoing maintenance provisions of the proposed design can be properly enforced.
The Board, its agents, officers, and employees shall have the authority to enter upon privately owned land after an application for permit has been received for the purpose of performing their duties for the administration and review of this regulation and may make or cause to be made, with prior notice, such examinations, surveys, or samplings as the Board deems necessary.
The Board shall have the authority to enforce these regulations and permits issued thereunder by violation notices, administrative orders, and civil and criminal court actions.
Any person who violates any provision of this regulation or permits issued hereunder shall be subject to a fine of not more than $200 per offense. Each day, or portion thereof, during which a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense, and each provision of the regulation or permit that is violated shall constitute a separate offense.
As an alternative to criminal prosecution in a special case, the Board may elect to utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D. For the purpose of this provision, the penalty to apply in the event of a violation shall be as follows:
Each day on which a violation exists shall be deemed a separate offense.
Fines shall not exceed $1,000 per day for multiple offenses on the same day on a single parcel of land or on a single project consisting of more than one contiguous parcels of land.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board may seek relief therefrom within 30 days in any court of competent jurisdiction as provided by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
This regulation shall take effect immediately upon passage by the Board of Health.