[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Marlborough 11-23-2009 by Ord. No. 08/09-1002346D. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter complies with the requirements of Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program promulgated on December 8, 1999, (and as may be subsequently amended) under the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Under the Phase II stormwater program, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires regulated municipalities to reduce the discharge of pollutants in stormwater to the maximum extent practicable and to adopt ordinances to address the control of sources of pollutants entering the municipal storm drain system.
Regulation of discharges to the municipal storm drain system is necessary for the protection of Marlborough's water bodies, drinking water and groundwater, and to safeguard the public health, safety, welfare and the environment. Increased and contaminated stormwater runoff associated with developed land uses and the accompanying increase in impervious surface are major causes of impairment of water quality and flow in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands and groundwater.
This chapter establishes stormwater management standards for the temporary and final conditions that result from development and redevelopment projects. Those standards seek to minimize adverse impacts off site and downstream which would be borne by abutters, citizens and the general public. The harmful impacts of increased and contaminated stormwater runoff associated with developed land uses and the impacts of soil erosion and sedimentation include without limitation:
Impairment of water quality and flow in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands and groundwater;
Contamination of drinking water supplies;
Alteration or destruction of aquatic and wildlife habitat;
Erosion of stream channels; and
Overloading or clogging of municipal catch basins and storm drainage systems.
The objectives of this chapter are:
Protect groundwater and surface water to prevent degradation of drinking water supply and waterways;
Require practices that minimize soil erosion and sedimentation and that control the volume and rate of stormwater runoff resulting from land-disturbing activities;
Maintain the natural hydrologic characteristics of the land to the maximum extent practicable as determined by the City Engineer, in order both to reduce flooding, stream bank erosion, siltation, non-point source pollution and property damage, as well as to maintain the integrity of stream channels and aquatic habitats;
Promote the infiltration and the recharge of groundwater;
Ensure that soil erosion and sedimentation control measures and stormwater runoff control practices are incorporated into the site planning and design process, and are implemented and maintained;
Require practices to control waste at a construction site, such as discarded building materials, concrete truck washout, chemicals, litter and sanitary waste, that may cause adverse impacts to water quality;
Prevent pollutants from entering the Marlborough municipal storm drainage system and to minimize discharge of pollutants from that drainage system;
Ensure adequate long-term operation and maintenance of structural stormwater best management practices so that stormwater structures work as designed;
Comply with state and federal statutes and regulations relating to stormwater discharges;
Establish Marlborough's legal authority to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter through inspection, monitoring, and enforcement; and
Encourage the use of environmentally sensitive design and low-impact development techniques.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter.
- Any activity that removes the vegetative surface cover.
- The modification of land to accommodate a new use, revised use, or expansion of use, usually involving construction.
- The wearing away of the land surface by natural or artificial forces, such as wind, water, ice, gravity, or vehicle traffic and the subsequent detachment and transportation of soil particles.
- LAND-DISTURBING ACTIVITY
- Any activity that causes a change in the existing soil cover which includes the position or location of soil, sand, rock, gravel, or similar earth material. Land-disturbing activities include, but are not limited to, clearing, clearing of trees, grubbing, grading, filling and excavation.
- MASSACHUSETTS STORMWATER HANDBOOKS
- The Massachusetts Stormwater Handbooks (handbooks) that were produced by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management are to be used as guidance for controlling stormwater. The handbooks, all published in February 2008 and as amended from time to time, consist of three volumes: Volume 1: Overview of Massachusetts Stormwater Standards; Volume 2: Technical Guide for Compliance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards; and Volume 3: Documenting Compliance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards.
- MASSACHUSETTS STORMWATER MANAGEMENT POLICY
- The policy issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, as amended from time to time, that coordinates the requirements prescribed by state regulations promulgated under the authority of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, MGL c. 131, § 40, and Massachusetts Clean Waters Act, MGL c. 21, §§ 23 through 56. The policy addresses stormwater impacts through implementation of performance standards to reduce or prevent pollutants from reaching water bodies and to control the quantity of runoff from a site.
- MUNICIPAL STORM DRAIN SYSTEM
- A conveyance or a system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, which is not a combined sewer, including any road with a drainage system, municipal street, catch basins, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, natural or man-made or altered drainage channel, ditch, reservoir, and other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the City.
- Rainfall, snowmelt, or irrigation water flowing over the ground surface.
- Any lot or parcel of land or area of property where land-disturbing activities are, were, or will be performed.
- Any earth, dirt, sand, rock, gravel, clay or similar material.
- Stormwater runoff, snowmelt runoff, and surface water runoff and drainage.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PERMIT
- A permit issued by the City Engineer, after review of an application, plans, calculations, and other supporting documents, which is designed to protect the environment or the City from the deleterious effects of uncontrolled and untreated stormwater runoff.
Additional terms that apply to issuance of a stormwater management permit established by this chapter shall be defined and included as part of the rules and regulations promulgated and, from time to time, amended under § 271-8B of this chapter, a copy of which is available at the Engineering Division of the Marlborough Department of Public Works and at the office of the City Clerk. Terms not defined in said rules and regulations or pertinent statutes shall be construed according to their customary and usual meaning unless the context indicates a special or technical meaning.
This chapter is adopted under authority granted by the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and pursuant to the regulations of the Federal Clean Water Act found at 40 CFR 122.34.
This chapter shall be applicable to the following activities. Compliance with all provisions of this chapter, to the maximum extent practicable as determined by the City Engineer, shall be a requirement for issuance of a stormwater management permit.
All subdivisions as defined in the Massachusetts Subdivision Control Law (MGL c. 41, §§ 81K through 81GG) requiring approval of a definitive subdivision plan.
Minor residential projects and nonresidential and major residential projects, as defined in the Building and Site Development Ordinance (Chapter 270, Article II, § 270-2), when a construction activity results in a land-disturbing activity that will disturb equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet of land that drains to the Marlborough municipal storm drain system, onto an adjacent property, into a municipal/private street, or into a wetland/stream.
Land-disturbing activity that:
The following are exempt activities:
Normal maintenance and improvement of land in agricultural use as defined by the Wetlands Protection Act regulation 310 CMR 10.04 and MGL c. 40A, § 3;
Maintenance of existing landscaping, gardens or lawn areas associated with a single-family dwelling;
Repair or replacement of an existing roof of a single-family dwelling;
The construction of any fence that will not alter existing terrain or drainage patterns;
Construction and/or maintenance of utilities (gas, water, electric, telephone, etc.) other than drainage, which will not alter terrain, ground cover, or drainage patterns;
Emergency repairs to any stormwater management facility or practice that poses a threat to public health or safety, or as deemed necessary by the City Engineer; and
Any work or projects for which all necessary approvals and permits have been issued before the effective date of this chapter. (This exemption does not apply to amendments or extensions of approved projects that have not started construction. In these cases, the applicant may need to redesign the project to comply with these requirements.)
This chapter is not intended to interfere with, abrogate, or annul any other ordinance, rule or regulation, statute, or other provision of law. The requirements of this chapter should be considered minimum requirements, and where any provision of this chapter imposes restrictions different from those imposed by any other ordinance, rule or regulation, statute, or other provision of law, whichever provisions are more restrictive or impose higher protective standards for human health or the environment shall take precedence.
No order of conditions from the Marlborough Conservation Commission, building permit, special permit, variance or finding shall constitute compliance with this chapter. For a project or activity to which this chapter is applicable, no work may commence until the developer submits to the City Engineer the required documentation of compliance, the City Engineer issues a stormwater management permit, and the developer certifies that all land clearing, construction, and development will be done pursuant to the approved plans and stormwater management permit.
Review process done in conjunction with definitive subdivision review and/or site plan review.
If a project or activity to which this chapter is applicable falls within the specific jurisdiction of the Planning Board for definitive subdivision review and/or the specific jurisdiction of the Site Plan Review Committee, then the stormwater management permit review and approval process may, but need not, occur in conjunction with the definitive subdivision plan review process and/or the Site Plan Review Committee approval process. The application submission requirements, public notices, and fee requirements of the above processes shall govern. Notwithstanding these requirements, such projects or activities are subject to the provisions of this chapter. Documentation of compliance with this chapter, as described in § 271-10 herein, shall accompany each application for definitive subdivision approval by the Planning Board and for approval by the Site Plan Review Committee.
Applicants under this chapter should refer to the Subdivision Regulations (Chapter A676, Article III, § A676-10) for definitive plan application and submission requirements, and to site plan review and approval (Chapter 270, Article II, § 270-2) for site plan application and submission requirements.
No work may commence without prior written approval of the City Engineer, confirming that the project or activity is in compliance with the Stormwater Standards and Design Guidance in § 271-9 herein.
The City Engineer's sign-off on the site plan review permit shall constitute approval of the stormwater management permit.
Before a definitive subdivision plan is approved, the City Engineer will document, in his written statement to the Planning Board, actions taken regarding the stormwater management permit.
The City Engineer shall state in writing reasons for disapproval or recommended modifications to the plan and shall rescind such disapproval if and when the plan has been amended to conform to the rules, regulations, and recommendations of the City Engineer.
Stormwater authority. The City Engineer is hereby designated as the stormwater authority. The City Engineer, or his/her agent, shall administer, implement and enforce this chapter. The City Engineer may delegate in writing another City department, commission or board to act as his/her authorized agent for site inspections and enforcement of this chapter.
Stormwater regulations. The City Engineer may adopt, and periodically amend, rules and regulations relating to the terms, conditions, definitions, enforcement, procedures and administration of this chapter after conducting a public hearing to receive comments on any proposed revisions. Such hearing dates shall be advertised in a newspaper of general local circulation at least seven days prior to the hearing date. After public notice and public hearing, the City Engineer may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. Failure of the City Engineer to promulgate such rules and regulations, or a legal declaration of their invalidity by a court, shall not act to suspend or invalidate the effect of this chapter.
Stormwater Management Handbooks. The City Engineer will utilize the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Policy and Massachusetts Stormwater Handbooks Volumes 1, 2 and 3, as amended from time to time, for criteria and information, including specifications and standards for the execution of the provisions of this chapter. These include a list of acceptable stormwater treatment practices, with specific design criteria for each. Unless specifically made more stringent in this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, stormwater management practices that are designed, constructed, and maintained in accordance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Handbooks' design and sizing criteria shall be presumed by the City Engineer to be protective of Massachusetts water quality standards.
Actions by the stormwater authority. The City Engineer may take any of the following actions as a result of an application for a stormwater management permit as more specifically defined as part of the rules and regulations promulgated as part of this chapter: approval, approval with conditions, disapproval, or disapproval without prejudice.
Appeal of action by the stormwater authority. An action by the City Engineer, acting in his or her capacity as the stormwater authority, shall be final. Further relief of an action by the City Engineer made under this chapter shall be reviewable in the Superior Court in a complaint filed within 60 days thereof, in accordance with MGL c. 249, § 4.
All projects shall meet the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards to the maximum extent practicable as determined by the City Engineer, as detailed in the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook, as amended from time to time. Additional guidance on applying the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards to applicable projects is contained in the City of Marlborough rules and regulations for stormwater.
Permit procedures and requirements, including permit submittals, right-of-entry, and the public hearing process, shall be defined and included as part of the rules and regulations promulgated under § 271-8B of this chapter.
All projects shall document compliance with the stormwater standards and design guidance criteria contained in this chapter in accordance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook, as amended from time to time. Submittal requirements are further specified in the City of Marlborough rules and regulations for stormwater.
The City Engineer or his/her authorized agent shall enforce this chapter and resulting regulations, orders, violation notices, and enforcement orders, and may pursue all criminal and civil remedies, including injunctive relief and monetary damages and costs of litigation and attorney fees, for such violations and for abatement and mitigation and compliance actions taken by the City Engineer.
As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the City Engineer may elect to utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D, and § 315-2 of the Marlborough City Code. To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the City Engineer's agents, officers, and designees may enter upon privately owned property for the purpose of performing their duties under this chapter and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the City Engineer deems reasonably necessary to determine compliance with a permit issued under this chapter. Enforcement shall be further defined and included as part of the rules and regulations promulgated under § 271-8B of this chapter.