[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Belchertown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Illicit Connections and Discharges
[Adopted 5-8-2017 ATM by Art. 14]
The purpose of this bylaw is to regulate and eliminate illicit connections and discharges to the Town of Belchertown's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), which is necessary for the protection of the Town's water bodies, wetlands, and groundwater, and to safeguard the public health, safety, welfare, and the environment. This bylaw establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the Town's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in order to comply with the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process.
The objectives of this bylaw are:
To prevent pollutants from entering the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4);
To prohibit illicit connections and unauthorized discharges to the stormwater system (MS4);
To require the removal of all such illicit connections;
To establish the legal authority to ensure compliance with the provisions of this bylaw through inspection, monitoring, and enforcement.
Increased and contaminated stormwater runoffs are major causes of:
For the purposes of this bylaw, the following shall mean:
- AUTHORIZED ENFORCEMENT AGENCY/APPLICABLE AUTHORITY
- The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative, its employees or agents designated to enforce this bylaw.
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)
- Activities, procedures, restraints, or structural improvements that helps to reduce the quantity or improve the quality of stormwater runoff. 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.) as hereafter amended.
- DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS
- The addition from any source of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into the municipal storm drainage system or into the waters of the United States or commonwealth from any source.
- Exempt from new legislation, restrictions, or requirements.
- Water beneath the surface of the ground and not confined in a conduit or container.
- ILLEGAL DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the municipal storm drainage system, except as specifically exempted in § 111-7 of this bylaw. The term does not include a discharge in compliance with an NPDES stormwater discharge permit or resulting from firefighting activities exempted pursuant to § 111-7 of this bylaw.
- ILLICIT CONNECTION
- Any surface or subsurface drain or conveyance, which allows an illegal discharge into the municipal storm drainage system. Illicit connections include conveyances which allow a nonstormwater discharge to the municipal storm drainage system, including sewage, process wastewater or wash water and any connections from indoor drainages sinks, or toilets, regardless of whether said connection was previously allowed, permitted, or approved before the effective date of this bylaw.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- Any material or structure on or above the ground that prevents water from infiltrating the underlying soil. Impervious surface includes, without limitation, roads, paved parking lots, sidewalks, and roof tops.
- MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM (MS4) or MUNICIPAL STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM
- The system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, including any road with a drainage system, street, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, natural or man-made or altered drainage channel, reservoir, and other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the Town of Belchertown.
- NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) STORMWATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
- A permit issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or jointly with the state that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the municipal storm drain system not composed entirely of stormwater.
- Any individual, partnership, group of individuals, association, partnership, firm, company, trust, corporation, business organization, estate, and any agency, authority, department or political subdivision of the commonwealth or the federal government, the Town of Belchertown, or any other legal entity to the extent permitted by Town bylaw, including any officer, employee, or agent of such person or entity.
- Any element or property of sewage, agricultural, industrial or commercial waste, runoff, leachate, heated effluent, or other matter, whether originating at a point or nonpoint source, that is or may be introduced into any sewage treatment works or waters of the commonwealth or wetland resource areas. Pollutants shall include:
- A. Paints, varnishes, and solvents;
- B. Oil and other automotive fluids;
- C. Liquid, solid wastes and yard wastes;
- D. Refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, accumulations and floatables;
- E. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers;
- F. Hazardous materials and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens;
- G. Dissolved and particulate metals;
- H. Animal wastes;
- I. Rock, sand, salt, soils;
- J. Construction wastes and residues; and
- K. Noxious or offensive matter of any kind.
- PROCESS WASTEWATER
- Any water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any material, intermediate product, finished product, or waste product. Process wastewater includes water which has increased in temperature as a result of manufacturing or other processes.
- The process by which groundwater is replenished by precipitation through the percolation of runoff and surface water through the soil, or by injection of collected precipitation, runoff or adequately treated wastewater.
- Rainwater, snowmelt and/or other water that flows off impervious surfaces and across or over the ground surface rather than being absorbed into the soil.
- TOXIC OR HAZARDOUS MATERIAL OR WASTE
- Any material, including any substance, waste, or combination thereof, which because of its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious or radioactive characteristics, either separately or in combination with any substance or substances, may cause or significantly contribute to a substantial present or potential threat to human health, safety, welfare, or to the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed. Toxic or hazardous materials include any synthetic organic chemical, petroleum product, heavy metal, radioactive or infectious waste, acid and alkali, and any substance defined as toxic or hazardous under MGL Chapters 21C and 21E, and the regulations at 310 CMR 30.000 and 310 CMR 40.0000.
- Any sanitary waste, sludge, or septic tank or cesspool contents or discharge, or water that during manufacturing, cleaning or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished product, by-product or waste product.
- A natural or man-made channel through which water flows or a stream of water, including a river, brook, or underground stream.
- WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
- All waters within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including, without limitation, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, springs, impoundments, estuaries, wetlands, coastal waters, and groundwater.
This bylaw shall apply to all flows entering the storm drainage system owned and/or operated by the Town of Belchertown.
This bylaw is adopted under the authority granted by the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and the Home Rule Procedures Act, and pursuant to the regulations of the federal Clean Water Act found at 40 CFR 122.34.
The Director of the Department of Public Works and/or its designated representative shall administer, implement and enforce this bylaw. Any powers granted to or duties imposed upon the Director of the Department of Public Works pursuant to this bylaw may be delegated, in writing, by the Director of the Department of Public Works to employees or agents of the Department of Public Works.
The Director of the Department of Public Works may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this bylaw. Failure by the Director of the Department of Public Works to promulgate such rules and regulations shall not have the effect of suspending or invalidating this bylaw.
Illegal discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause or allow to be discharged any pollutant or nonstormwater discharge into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). Nonemergency pumping performed by the Fire Department must utilize appropriate best management practices (BMPs) and follow hazardous materials disposal guidelines to prevent contamination of the municipal storm drainage system with hazardous materials. If hazardous materials are observed within the flooded area from nonemergency pumping activities, or are suspected to be contained therein, a qualified hazmat technician and applicable state and local agencies must be consulted. These agencies will be responsible for implementing the BMPs to the contamination of nearby waterways and the municipal storm drainage system.
Illicit connections. No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drainage system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation or custom at the time of connection. No grandfathering is permitted.
Obstruction of municipal storm drainage system. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the storm drainage system without prior approval from the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative. No person shall dump or dispose of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, etc.) into the MS4, or into open watercourses (swales, brooks and streams).
Drains. No one shall tie any pump, cellar, yard, roof or area drain directly into the stormwater drainage system without approval from the applicable authority.
Catch basins. No person shall directly or indirectly dump, discharge or cause or allow to be discharged into any catch basin any solid waste, construction debris, paint or paint product, antifreeze, hazardous waste, oil, gasoline, grease and all other automotive and petroleum products, solvents and degreasers, drain cleaners, commercial or household cleaners, soap, detergent, ammonia, food and food waste, grease or yard waste, animal feces, dirt, sand gravel or other pollutant. Any person determined by the applicable authority to be responsible for the discharge of any of the above substances to a catch basin may be held responsible for cleaning the catch basin and any other portions of the stormwater system impacted according to Town standards and requirements or paying the cost for such cleaning. In addition, the person shall be responsible for paying any penalties assessed by the Town.
Septage. No person shall discharge or cause or allow to be discharged any septage or septage tank or cesspool overflow into the Town's stormwater drainage system.
Storage and disposal of hazardous material. No one shall dispose of anything other than clear water into the Town's storm drainage system. The disposal of waste, gasoline or any other hazardous material into the storm drainage system is strictly prohibited and is in violation of state and federal pollution laws.
Private drainage systems. It is prohibited for anyone with a private drainage system from tying into the public stormwater disposal system without written approval from the applicable authority. The maintenance of any and all private drainage systems shall be the responsibility of the owners.
Exemptions. This section shall not apply to any of the following nonstormwater discharges or flows, provided that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the storm drainage system.
Emergency pumping performed by the Fire Department;
Discharges (in liquid form) from landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
Diverted stream flows, springs;
Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration as defined in 40 CFR 35.2005(20), or uncontaminated pumped groundwater;
Flows from potable water sources;
Irrigation water, springs;
Water from crawl space pumps, exterior foundation drains, footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), sump pumps or air conditioning condensation;
Water from individual residential car washing;
Natural flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
Discharges from de-chlorinated swimming pool water (less than one part per million chlorine), provided it is allowed to stand for one week prior to draining and the pool is drained in such a way as not to cause a nuisance;
Discharges during street sweeping, discharge of sand and deicers used for public safety purposes and other storm drainage system maintenance;
Dye testing, provided notification is given to the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative prior to the time of the test;
Nonstormwater discharges permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order administered under the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharge is in full compliance with the requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and applicable laws and regulations;
Discharges for which advanced written approval is received from the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative if necessary to protect public health, safety, welfare or the environment; and
Emergency repairs to the municipal storm drain system, and any stormwater management structure or practice that poses a threat to public health or safety, or as deemed necessary by the Town.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may suspend municipal storm drainage system (MS4) access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened illicit discharge of pollutants that presents or may present imminent risk of harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.
Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes, or such person's lessee, shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall 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.
Failure by the property owner to maintain the watercourse does not constitute an obligation on the part of the Town to assume this responsibility.
Notwithstanding any other requirements of local, state or federal 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 at that facility operation which is resulting or may result in illegal discharge of pollutants into the municipal drainage system, a wetland resource area, or waters of the commonwealth, that person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the reporting person shall immediately notify the municipal Fire and Police Departments, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (if the release is reportable as defined by 310 CMR 40.00). In the event of a release of non-hazardous material, said person shall notify the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative no later than the next business day. Written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile or in-person notifications shall be provided to the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative within three business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or operator of the facility shall retain on site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or an authorized agent of the Department of Public Works shall enforce this bylaw, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as well as the terms and conditions of all permits, notices, and orders, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may issue a written order to enforce the provisions of this bylaw or the regulations thereunder, which include, but are not limited to:
Elimination of elicit connections or discharges to the storm drainage system (MS4);
Termination of access to the storm drainage system;
Performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
Cessation of unlawful discharges, practices, or operations;
Remediation of contamination in connection therewith;
Implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
If the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative determines that abatement or remediation of contamination is required, the order shall set forth a deadline for completion of the abatement or remediation. Said order shall further advise that, should the violator or property owner fail to abate or perform remediation within the specified deadline, the Town of Belchertown may, at its option, undertake such work and expenses thereof shall be charged to the violator or property owner.
Within 30 days after completing all measures necessary to abate the violation or to perform remediation, the violator and the property owner will be notified, in writing, of the costs incurred by the Town of Belchertown, including administrative costs, for which payment is due to the Town. The violator or property owner may file a written protest or appeal objecting to the amount or basis of costs with the Board of Selectmen within 30 days of receipt of the notification of the costs incurred. If the amount due is not received by the expiration of the time in which to file a protest or appeal or within 30 days following a decision of the Board of Selectmen or designated representative affirming or reducing the costs, or from a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the costs shall become a special assessment against the property owner and shall constitute a lien on the owner's property for the amount of said costs pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 58. Interest shall begin to accrue on any unpaid costs at the statutory rate provided in MGL c. 59, § 57, after the 31st day at which the costs first become due.
Equitable remedy. If a person or entity violates the provisions of this bylaw, regulations, permit, notice, or order issued thereunder, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain the person from activities that would create further violations or compel the person to abate or remediate the violation.
Criminal penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this bylaw, regulation, order or written approval issued thereunder shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $300 per violation. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Noncriminal disposition. As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the Town of Belchertown may elect to utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D. The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative shall be the enforcing person. The penalty for the first violation shall be up to $100. The penalty for the second violation shall be $200. The penalty for the third and subsequent violations shall be $300. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Right of entry. To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative, its agents, officers, and employees may enter upon privately owned property for the purpose of performing their duties under this bylaw and regulations and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative deems reasonably necessary.
Appeals. The decisions or orders of the Director of the Department of Public Works shall be final. Further relief shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction.
Remedies not exclusive. The remedies listed in this bylaw are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law.
If any provision, paragraph, sentence, or clause, of this bylaw or the application thereof to any person, establishment, or circumstances, shall be held invalid for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect any other provisions or applications of this bylaw, and shall continue in full force and effect.
Property owners shall have 120 days from the effective date of the bylaw to comply with its provisions, provided good cause is shown for the failure to comply with the bylaw during that period unless local, state, or federal agencies deem that immediate actions are warranted.