[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Paltz as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Illicit Discharges, Activities and Connections
§ 115-9 Prevention, control and reduction of stormwater pollutants by use of best management practices.
[Adopted 12-22-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
Editor's Note: This local law was originally adopted as Ch. 136 but was renumbered to maintain the organization of the Code.
The purpose of this article is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of New Paltz through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the 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 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 current SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from MS4s, as that General Permit may hereafter be amended or revised;
To regulate the contribution of pollutants to the MS4 since such systems are not designed to accept, process or discharge nonstormwater wastes;
To prohibit illicit connections, activities and discharges to the MS4;
To establish legal authority to carry out all inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this article; and
To 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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
- Activities requiring authorization under the SPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity, GP-0-015-02, 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.
- DEPARTMENT or DEC
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
- DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
- New York State licensed professional engineer, licensed architect, registered landscape architect or other NYSDEC recognized professionals qualified by training or experience, such as certified professional in erosion control (CPESC) and certified professional in stormwater quality (CPSWQ). All components that involve the practice of engineering, as defined in the New York State Education Law (see Article 145) shall be prepared by, or under the direct supervision of, a professional engineer licensed to practice in this State of New York.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIAL
- 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 CONNECTION
- Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the MS4, including but not limited to:
- A. Any conveyances which allow any nonstormwater discharge, including treated or untreated sewage, process wastewater, and wash water, to enter the 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
- B. Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the 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 MS4, except as exempted in § 115-6 of this article.
- INDIVIDUAL SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM
- A facility serving one or more parcels of land or residential households, or a private, commercial or institutional facility, that treats sewage or other liquid wastes for discharge into the groundwaters of New York State, except where a permit for such a facility is required under the applicable provisions of Article 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
- INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
- Activities requiring the current SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities Except Construction, as that General Permit may be amended or revised.
- Municipal separate storm sewer system.
- 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):
- The Town of New Paltz.
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater.
- Any individual, association, organization, partnership, firm, corporation, limited-liability company, or other entity recognized by law and acting as either the owner of any interest in real property, 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, 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 New York State water quality standards set forth in 6 NYCRR 703.
- Any building lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including improvements on such land, and adjacent sidewalks and parking strips under the control of the owner or operator of such lot or land.
- A. Discharge compliance with water quality standards. The condition that applies where a municipality has been notified that the discharge of stormwater authorized under its MS4 permit may have caused or has the reasonable potential to cause or contribute to the violation of an applicable water quality standard. Under this condition the municipality must take all necessary actions to ensure future discharges do not cause or contribute to that violation of water quality standards.
- B. 303(d) listed waters. The condition in the municipality's MS4 permit that applies where the MS4 discharges to a 303(d) listed water. Under this condition the stormwater management program must ensure no increase of the listed pollutant of concern to the 303(d) listed water.
- C. Total maximum daily load (TMDL) strategy. The condition in the municipality's MS4 permit where a TMDL including requirements for control of stormwater discharges has been approved by EPA for a water body or watershed into which the MS4 discharges.
- D. The condition in the municipality's MS4 permit that applies if a TMDL is approved in the future by EPA for any water body or watershed into which an MS4 discharges. Under this condition the municipality must review the applicable TMDL to see if it includes requirements for control of stormwater discharges. If an MS4 is not meeting the TMDL stormwater allocations, the municipality must, within six months of the TMDL's approval, modify its stormwater management program to ensure that reduction of the pollutant of concern specified in the TMDL is achieved.
- 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.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER (SMO)
- An employee, the municipal engineer or other public official(s) designated by the Town of New Paltz to enforce this article. The SMO may also be designated by the municipality to accept and review stormwater pollution prevention plans, forward the plans to the applicable municipal board and inspect stormwater management practices.
- 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 MS4 that is generated on any developed or undeveloped lands, unless explicitly exempted by an authorized enforcement agency.
The Stormwater Management Officer(s) (SMO) 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 SMO as may be authorized by the municipality.
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 MS4 any materials other than stormwater except as provided in § 115-6A(1). The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the 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 municipality has determined them to be substantial contributors of pollutants: waterline 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 firefighting 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 SMO 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 SMO 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 SMO 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 duly granted by the Department for any discharge to the MS4.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the MS4, whether or not such connection is in use, is prohibited.
This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was then 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 municipality's MS4, or allows such a connection to continue.
No person shall operate a failing individual sewage treatment system in areas tributary to the municipality's MS4. A failing individual sewage treatment system is one which has been determined by the SMO, or an agency with jurisdiction over such system, to meet one or more of the following conditions:
The backup of sewage into a structure.
Discharges of treated or untreated sewage onto the ground surface.
A connection or connections to a separate stormwater sewer system.
Liquid level in the septic tank above the outlet invert.
Structural failure of any component of the individual sewage treatment system that could lead to any of the other failure conditions as noted in this section.
Contamination of off-site groundwater.
Activities that are subject to the requirements of this section are those types of activities that:
Such activities include, but are not limited to, failing individual sewage treatment systems as defined in § 115-7, improper management of pet waste or any other activity that causes or contributes to violations of the municipality's MS4 SPDES permit authorization.
Upon notification by the SMO to a person that he or she is engaged in activities that cause or contribute to violations of the municipality's 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 municipality's MS4 SPDES permit authorization.
§ 115-9 Prevention, control and reduction of stormwater pollutants by use of best management practices.
Best management practices. Where the SMO has identified illicit discharges as defined in § 115-2 or activities contaminating stormwater as defined in § 115-8, the municipality 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 his/her own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the 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 § 115-2, or an activity contaminating stormwater, as defined in § 115-8, may be required to implement, at said person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to reduce or eliminate, to the maximum extent practicable, the source of pollutant(s) to the 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.
Individual sewage treatment systems; response to special conditions requiring no increase of pollutants or requiring a reduction of pollutants. Where individual sewage treatment systems are contributing to the municipality's being subject to the special conditions as defined in § 115-2 of this article, the owner or operator of such individual sewage treatment systems shall be required to:
Maintain and operate individual sewage treatment systems as follows:
Inspect the septic tank annually to determine scum and sludge accumulation. Septic tanks must be pumped out whenever the bottom of the scum layer is within three inches of the bottom of the outlet baffle or sanitary tee or the top of the sludge is within 10 inches of the bottom of the outlet baffle or sanitary tee.
Avoid the use of septic tank additives.
Avoid the disposal of excessive quantities of detergents, kitchen wastes, laundry wastes, and household chemicals; and
Avoid the disposal of cigarette butts, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, trash and other such items.
Repair or replace individual sewage treatment systems as follows:
The repaired or replaced system shall be designed and installed in accordance with 10 NYCRR Appendix 75A to the maximum extent practicable.
A design professional licensed to practice in New York State shall prepare design plans for any type of absorption field that involves:
A written certificate of compliance, including certification that the installation of the repaired or replaced system has been inspected to the extent necessary to determine it was installed in substantial conformance with the design plans, shall be submitted by the design professional to the municipality at the completion of construction of the repair or replacement system.
The SMO 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, to the health or welfare of persons, or to the MS4. The SMO 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 SMO may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4 or to minimize danger to persons, including requesting that the Town Board authorize the SMO to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction, order to remedy the violation or other appropriate relief.
Termination of MS4 access due to the detection of illicit discharge. Any person discharging to the municipality's MS4 in violation of this article may have his/her MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The SMO will notify a violator in writing of the proposed termination of its MS4 access and the reasons therefor. Such notice shall include the time and date on which the termination will become effective. Prior to that time, the violator may petition the SMO for reconsideration. The SMO may allow the restoration of terminated access if he/she finds that the illicit discharge has ceased and the discharger has taken appropriate steps to prevent its recurrence. The SMO may continue to deny access to the MS4 if the SMO determines in writing that the illicit discharge has not ceased or is likely to recur. It shall be a violation of this Chapter if any person takes action to reinstate MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section, or causes such action to be taken, without the prior approval of the SMO.
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity SPDES stormwater discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of such permit. The municipality may require acceptable proof from the permittee that discharges from the regulated industrial or construction activities will be in compliance with said permit prior to allowing discharges to the MS4.
Applicability. This section applies to all facilities that the SMO 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 SMO 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 SMO.
Facility operators shall allow the SMO 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 municipality shall have the right to set up on any facility subject to this article such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the SMO to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the facility's stormwater discharge.
The municipality 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.
A person who is the operator of a facility subject to this article commits an offense if the person denies the SMO reasonable access to the facility for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this article when the SMO has probable cause to believe that there is a violation of this article on the premises, 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.
If the SMO is refused access to any part of the premises from which stormwater is discharged, and he/she has probable cause to believe that there may be a violation of this article on the premises, 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, then the SMO may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for a search warrant.
Emergency response. 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 MS4, said person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of such release.
Notice of potential release to MS4. In the event such release involves 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 municipality 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 municipality within three business days of the telephone notice. The notification provisions of this Section are in addition to any other applicable notification provisions required by federal, state or local laws or regulations, and such person shall also comply with those notification requirements.
Retention of records. 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, the actions to contain and clean up 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 SMO 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;
Submission of a plan to avoid recurrence of the violation(s);
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
Payment of fine; and
The implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
Abatement of violation. 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 article 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. In addition, any person who violates this article shall pay any fines or penalties that the Town of New Paltz is required to pay by reason of said person's violations.
If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to the requirements set forth in the notice of violation, then the SMO 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 SMO may seek a warrant or order in a court of competent jurisdiction to be authorized to enter upon the property. Upon determination that a violation is continuing, the SMO may request authorization from the Town Board to seek a court order to require the discharger to take any and all other measures reasonably necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property, or to collect the fines and penalties set forth above. 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 Town Board may authorize the SMO to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary and/or permanent injunction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations, compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation, or for such other relief as the Town Board deems appropriate.
Where a person has violated a provision of this article, he/she may be eligible for alternative disposition in lieu of the penalties set forth in § 115-14C upon a determination of the Municipal Code Enforcement Office that:
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 which is a threat to public health, safety, and welfare may be summarily abated or restored by the Town, at the violator's expense, and/or a civil action may be brought by the Town Board, in the name of the Town, to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance.
The remedies provided by 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 Town, as the enforcement agency, to seek cumulative remedies.
Any person, firm or corporation claiming to be adversely affected or aggrieved by any ruling, decision, determination or order of the SMO may appeal such ruling, decision, or determination to the New York State Supreme Court within 30 days after said determination, ruling, or decision is filed in the office of the Town Clerk. To the extent that said time limit is at variance with the time limit set forth in § 217 of the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules, it is the express intention of this article to supersede same.