[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council 5-25-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Inland wetlands and watercourses — See Ch. 60A.
Department of Public Works — See Ch. 90.
Public sewers — See Ch. 91.
Septage disposal — See Ch. 92.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 95.
Excavations and encroachments in public streets and grounds — See Ch. 96.
Excavating and filling of land — See Ch. 97.
Water Pollution Control Authority — See Ch. 113.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Norwalk, Connecticut, through the regulation of non-stormwater discharges to the storm drainage system to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law. This chapter establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in order to comply with requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process. The objectives of the chapter are to:
Regulate the contribution of pollutants to the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) by stormwater discharges by any user.
Prohibit illicit connections and discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system.
Establish legal authority to carry out all inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meanings of terms used in these provisions shall be as follows:
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMP)
- 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. BMP 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 (CWA)
- The federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.), and any subsequent amendments thereto.
- CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
- Activities subject to NPDES construction permits. Currently these include construction projects resulting in land disturbances of one acre or more. Such activities include but are not limited to clearing, grubbing, excavating, and demolition.
- The division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels; the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or structure; any mining excavation or landfill; and any use or change in the use of any building or other structure or land or extension of use of land by any person for which a permit is required under Norwalk City Code and/or Zoning Regulations.
- DRAINAGE AREA
- A geographic area within which stormwater, sediments, or dissolved materials drain to a particular receiving water body or to a particular point along a receiving water body.
- 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.
- ILLEGAL DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect non-stormwater discharge to the storm drain system, except as exempted in § 93-10 of this chapter.
- ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
- Either of the following:
- (1) Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the storm drain system, including but not limited to any conveyances which allow any non-stormwater discharge including sewage, process wastewater, and wash water to enter the storm drain system 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
- (2) Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the storm drain system which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records and approved by an authorized enforcement agency.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- A surface that has been covered with a layer of material so that it is highly resistant to infiltration by water.
- INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
- Activities subject to NPDES industrial permits as defined in 40 CFR Section 122.26 (b)(14).
- MAJOR DEVELOPMENT
- Any development that provides for ultimately disturbing one or more acres of land. Disturbance for the purpose of this rule is the placement of impervious surface or exposure and/or movement of soil or bedrock or clearing, cutting, or removing of vegetation.
- NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) STORMWATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
- A permit issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or by a state under authority delegated pursuant to 33 USC § 1342(b), that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States, whether the permit is applicable on an individual, group, or general area-wide basis.
- NON-STORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the storm drain system that is not composed of surface flow, runoff, or drainage consisting entirely of water from any form of natural precipitation, or resulting from such precipitation.
- 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.
- Anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; oil and other automotive fluids; nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, ordinances, and accumulations, so that same may cause or contribute to pollution; floatables; pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; hazardous substances and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens; dissolved and particulate metals; animal wastes; wastes and residues that result from constructing a building or structure; and noxious or offensive matter of any kind.
- Any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.
- The amount of water from precipitation that infiltrates into the ground and is not evapotranspired.
- Solid material, mineral or organic, that is in suspension, is being transported, or has been moved from its site of origin by air, water or gravity as a product of erosion.
- STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM
- Publicly owned facilities by which stormwater is collected and/or conveyed, including but not limited to any roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, gutters, curbs, inlets, piped storm drains, pumping facilities, retention and detention basins, natural and human-made or altered drainage channels, reservoirs, and other drainage structures.
- Any surface flow, runoff, and drainage consisting entirely of water from any form of natural precipitation, and resulting from such precipitation.
- STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PLAN
- A document which describes the best management practices and activities to be implemented by a person or business to identify sources of pollution or contamination at a site and the actions to eliminate or reduce pollutant discharges to stormwater, stormwater conveyance systems, and/or receiving waters to the maximum extent practicable.
- Any water or other liquid, other than uncontaminated stormwater, discharged from a facility.
Word usage. "May" is permissive; "shall" is mandatory.
This chapter shall apply to all water entering the storm drain system generated on any developed and undeveloped lands unless explicitly exempted by an authorized enforcement agency.
The Director of Public Works shall administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this chapter. Any powers granted or duties imposed upon the authorized enforcement agency may be delegated in writing by the Director to persons or entities acting in the beneficial interest of, or in the employ of, the agency.
If any section, clause, sentence or provision of this chapter shall be adjudged invalid or unenforceable, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of any other provision hereof, but all other provisions shall be deemed valid and effective and shall remain in full force and effect.
The standards set forth herein and promulgated pursuant to this chapter are minimum standards; therefore this chapter does not intend nor imply that compliance by any person will ensure that there will be no contamination, pollution, nor unauthorized discharge of pollutants.
Prohibition of illegal discharges. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the municipal storm drain system, wetlands or watercourses any materials, including, but not limited to, pollutants or waters containing any pollutants that cause or contribute to a violation of applicable water quality standards, other than storm water. The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the storm drain system is prohibited except as described as follows:
The following discharges are exempt from discharge prohibitions established by this chapter.
Uncontaminated waterline flushing or other potable water sources;
Uncontaminated landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
Diverted stream flows;
Groundwater infiltration to storm drains;
Uncontaminated pumped groundwater;
Foundation or footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems);
Crawl space pumps;
Air conditioning condensation;
Noncommercial washing of vehicles;
Natural riparian habitat or wetland flows; and
Any water source not containing pollution.
Discharges specified in writing by the Director as being necessary to protect public health and safety.
Dye testing is an allowable discharge, but requires a verbal notification to the Director, or his/her designee, prior to the time of the test.
The prohibition shall not apply to any non-stormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, 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 storm drain system.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the storm drain system 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 chapter if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the MS4, or allows such a connection to continue.
Suspension due to illicit discharges in emergency situations. The Director may, without prior notice, suspend 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, or to the health or welfare of persons, or to the MS4 or waters of the United States. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the Director may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4 or waters of the United States, or to minimize danger to persons. The cost of this work may be billed back to the violator.
Suspension due to the detection of illicit discharge.
Any person discharging to the MS4 in violation of this chapter may have his MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The Director will notify a violator of the proposed termination of his MS4 access. The violator may petition the Director for a reconsideration and hearing in accordance with § 93-15.
A person commits an offense if the person reinstates MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section without the prior approval of the Director or his/her designee.
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity NPDES 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 Director prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
Applicability. This section applies to all facilities that have stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity, including construction activity.
Access to facilities.
The Director or his/her designee shall be permitted to enter and inspect facilities subject to regulation under this chapter as often as may be necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. 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 representatives of the Director.
Facility operators shall allow the Director or his/her designee ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, examination and copying of records that must be kept under the conditions of an NPDES permit to discharge stormwater, and the performance of any additional duties as defined by state and federal law.
The Director or his/her designee shall have the right to set up on any permitted facility such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the Director to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the facility's stormwater discharge.
The Director has the right to require the discharger to install monitoring equipment as necessary. 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.
Any temporary or permanent obstruction to safe and easy access to the facility to be inspected and/or sampled shall be promptly removed by the operator at the written or oral request of the Director and shall not be replaced. The costs of clearing such access shall be borne by the operator.
Unreasonable delays in allowing the Director or his/her designee access to a permitted facility is a violation of a stormwater discharge permit and of this chapter. A person who is the operator of a facility with a NPDES permit to discharge stormwater associated with industrial activity commits an offense if the person denies the Director or his/her designee reasonable access to the permitted facility for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this chapter.
If the Director or his/her designee 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 chapter, 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 chapter or any order issued hereunder, or to protect the overall public health, safety, and welfare of the community, then the Director may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Director will adopt requirements identifying best management practices for any activity, operation, or facility which may cause or contribute to pollution or contamination of stormwater, the storm drain system, or waters of the United States. The owner or operator of a multifamily, mixed use, commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at his own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the municipal storm drain system or watercourses through the use of these structural and nonstructural BMP. Further, any person responsible for a property or premises which is or may be the source of an illicit discharge may be required to implement, at said person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMP to prevent the further discharge of pollutants to the municipal separate storm sewer system. Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid NPDES permit authorizing the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed compliant with the provisions of this section. These BMP shall be part of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPP) as necessary for compliance with requirements of the NPDES permit.
Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes, or such person's lessee, shall, subject to requirements of the Norwalk Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations (Chapter 60A Norwalk City Code), keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, excessive vegetation, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall, subject to requirements of the Norwalk Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations (Chapter 60A Norwalk City Code), maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse.
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 stormwater, the storm drain system, or water of the United States, 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 Director or his/her designee in person or by phone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by phone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the Director of Public Works within three business days of the phone 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.
Whenever the Director finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this chapter, he/she may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person. Such notice may require without limitation:
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
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; and
Payment of a fine to cover administrative and remediation costs; and
The implementation of source control or treatment BMP.
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.
Any person receiving a notice of violation may appeal the determination of the Director. The notice of appeal must be received within 30 days from the date of the notice of violation. Hearing on the appeal before the Public Works Committee of the Common Council shall take place within 35 days from the date of receipt of the notice of appeal. The determination of the Public Works Committee shall be final.
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 10 days of the decision of the Public Works Committee upholding the decision of the Director, then representatives of the Director shall enter upon the subject private property and are authorized to take any and all measures necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property. It shall be unlawful for any person, owner, agent or person in possession of any premises to refuse to allow the Director or his/her designated contractor to enter upon the premises for the purposes set forth above.
Within 45 days after abatement of the violation, the owner of the property will be notified of the cost of abatement, including administrative costs. The property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount of the assessment within 30 days. If the amount due is not paid in a timely manner as determined by the decision of the Public Works Committee or by the expiration of the time in which to file an appeal, the charges shall become a special assessment against the property and shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of the assessment. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall become liable to the City by reason of such violation. The liability shall be paid in not more than 12 equal payments.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter. If a person has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this chapter, the Director 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.
In lieu of enforcement proceedings, penalties, and remedies authorized by this chapter, the Director may impose upon a violator alternative compensatory actions, such as storm drain stenciling, attendance at compliance workshops, creek cleanup, etc.
In addition to the enforcement process and penalties provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter that may be a threat to public health, safety, and welfare will be investigated by the Director of Health or his agents and upon finding this condition to be a nuisance to the public health shall order such condition to be abated according to the authority granted by the Connecticut General Statutes and the Connecticut Public Health Code.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be fined an amount established in accordance with the provisions of § 90-4, Approval of rates and fees, and statute. Each day that any violation occurs shall be deemed to be a separate offense for the purpose of applying the penalty provided in this section.
Any person that has violated or continues to violate this chapter shall be liable to criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
The Director may recover all attorney's fees court costs and other expenses associated with enforcement of this chapter, including sampling and monitoring expenses.
The remedies listed in this chapter are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law and it is within the discretion of the Director to seek cumulative remedies.