City of Erie, PA
Erie County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
This article shall be known as the "Non-Use Aquifer Ordinance of the City of Erie, Pennsylvania," in accordance with and exercising the authority of the Pennsylvania Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2 of 1995), Pennsylvania Code 25 Chapters 109 (Safe Drinking Water) and 250 (Administration of the Land Recycling Program), Section 301.4 of the International Plumbing Code of 2003, the City of Erie Ordinance 30-2004 enforcing the Pennsylvania Construction Code (Act 45 of 1999), and Chapter 2 of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Technical Guidance Manual, among others, to prohibit, regulate, restrict and determine the use of groundwater for drinking or agricultural purposes within the City.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
This article shall have as its general purposes:
(a) 
To establish the prohibition of the use of groundwater for drinking or agricultural purposes within the City of Erie.
(b) 
To require all properties in the City of Erie to connect to a community water supply for drinking water and agricultural purposes, and prohibit the use of groundwater for said purposes.
(c) 
To promote, protect, and facilitate public health, safety, and welfare of the general public within the City of Erie through the implementation of appropriate procedures to implement and regulate the above purposes.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
(a) 
The Pennsylvania Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2 of 1995), as part of the effort to eliminate public health and environmental hazards on existing commercial and industrial land across the Commonwealth, establishes conditions and responsibilities for the use and reuse of those lands as sources of employment, housing, recreation and open-space areas as a means to prevent the needless development of prime farmland, open-pace areas, and natural areas and reduce public costs for installing new water, sewer, and highway infrastructure.
(b) 
The Act recognizes that cleanup plans should be based on the actual risk that contamination on a site may pose to public health and the environment and take into consideration its current and future use. As such, the Act does not require that every site be returned to a pristine condition.
(c) 
The Act further establishes environmental responsibilities and economic incentives for the redevelopment of the aforementioned land and designates the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) as the overseeing agency for any environmental cleanup effort associated with the Act.
(d) 
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has, accordingly, established its Land Recycling Program which provides background information and guidance relative to remediation of sites possessing contaminated groundwater.
(e) 
The Act 2 program provides options available to the remediator of those sites and options and responsibilities of the municipalities and authorities having jurisdictional control over those sites.
(f) 
One of the proactive institutional control options available to a municipality for the protection of its citizens is the establishment of an ordinance prohibiting groundwater use for drinking or agricultural purposes. This option, which is known as "Request for Certification of a Non-use Aquifer Area Initiated by a Local Government," is used by municipal authorities and political subdivisions which desire to receive certification that a given geographic area meets the conditions of Act 2, Section 250.303(c) (i.e., non-use aquifer area conditions) where no specific property to be remediated has been identified. These conditions are based on Section 250.303(f) of Act 2 of 1995 which requires an ordinance prohibiting groundwater use for drinking or agricultural purposes and which requires every property to be connected to the public water supply.
(g) 
By a 1940 ordinance, the City of Erie provided that no well or spring was to be maintained where City water was available. This ordinance was repealed in 2000 by Ordinance No. 28-2000.
(h) 
By Ordinance No. 30-2004, The City of Erie adopted the Uniform Construction Code and provided that where a public water supply was available a building or premises must be connected to the public water supply; however, this ordinance did not prohibit the use of groundwater sources for drinking or agricultural purposes.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
It is not intended by this article to repeal, abrogate, annul or interfere with any existing ordinances or enactment, or with any rule, regulation or permit adopted or issued there under, except insofar as the same may be inconsistent or in conflict with any of the provisions of this article, provided that where this article imposes greater restrictions upon the use of groundwater than are required by the provisions of such ordinance, enactment, rule, regulation or permit, then the provisions of this article shall control.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
(a) 
Rules of construction. For the purpose of this article, certain terms or words used herein are defined as follows, using these rules of construction.
(1) 
The present tense includes the future tense.
(2) 
The singular number includes the plural and the plural number includes the singular.
(3) 
The word "shall" is mandatory and the term "may" is permissive.
(b) 
Definitions.
(1) 
AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES — Commercial agricultural activities, including, but not limited to, irrigation of crops, watering of livestock, and food production, processing or packaging.
(2) 
AQUIFER — A geological formation, group of formations or part of a formation capable of a sustainable yield of significant amount of water to a well or spring.
(3) 
CLEANUP OR REMEDIATION — To clean up, mitigate, correct, abate, minimize, eliminate, control, or prevent a release of a regulated substance into the environment, in order to protect the present or future health, safety, welfare or the environment, including preliminary actions to study or assess the release.
(4) 
CONTROL — To apply engineering measurers, such as capping or treatment or institutional measures, such as deed restrictions to sites with contaminated media.
(5) 
GROUNDWATER — Water below the land surface in a zone of saturation.
(6) 
MUNICIPALITY — A township, borough, City, incorporated village or home rule municipality. This term shall not include a county.
(7) 
SITE — The extent of contamination originating within the property boundaries and all areas in close proximity to the contamination necessary for the implementation of remediation activities to be conducted under Pennsylvania Act 2 of 1995.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
(a) 
Restrictions. All real estate located within the boundaries of the City of Erie shall be subject to the following restrictions:
(1) 
No well or spring located on a property shall be used as a groundwater source for drinking water or agricultural purposes.
(2) 
No owner, lessee or other person shall use any groundwater source for drinking water or agricultural purposes.
(3) 
In accordance with the City's adoption of the 2003 International Plumbing Code and as further required by this article, all buildings located within the boundaries of the City of Erie are mandated to connect to the public drinking water system servicing the area.
(4) 
No building permit shall be issued by the City without verification of the availability of public drinking water service to the building.
(5) 
No building may be occupied without verification that the building has connected to the public drinking water system and there are no other water supply sources connected to the building for use in supplying water for drinking water or agricultural purposes to the building, including but not limited to, groundwater sources.
(b) 
Appeals. Any person or persons, or any board, taxpayer, department or bureau of the City aggrieved by any decision of the City official appointed to enforce this article may seek review by the Court of Common Pleas pursuant to the Local Agency Law.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
This article may only be amended in accordance with the requirements set forth hereinafter:
(a) 
Any amendment shall be effective 30 days' after written notice has been given to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection together with a copy of the proposed amendment.
(b) 
Upon adoption of any amendment to this article, notice shall be given to the public water supplier.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
(a) 
Duties. The government officer responsible for the issuance of building permits and enforcement of building codes shall administer and enforce this article to include the proposal of amendments to the prohibition throughout the City of Erie of the use of water wells for drinking or agricultural purposes, and notification of the public water supplier and the Land Recycling Program Manager of the Northwest Regional Office of the PADEP of any changes in status or requirements. If the government officer finds that any provisions of this article are being violated, he shall notify, in writing, the person responsible and he shall order the discontinuance of the illegal use of aquifer water supplies and shall take any other action authorized by this article to ensure compliance with or to prevent violation of its provisions.
[Ord. 33-2007, passed 6-6-2007]
(a) 
Violation of the provisions of this article or failure to comply with any and all of its requirements shall be grounds for a civil proceeding. Any property owner or lessee of land situated in the City of Erie who has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this article shall, upon being found liable therefore in a civil proceeding commenced by the City, pay a judgment of not more than $500, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the City as a result thereof. No judgments shall commence or be imposed, levied, or payable until the date of the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation although the District Justice may, at his discretion, determine that the first day of violation is the fifth day after his decision if he believes the violator was unaware of the violation prior to being charged. All judgments, costs, and reasonable attorney fees collected shall be paid to the City.
(b) 
Nothing contained herein shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the City the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section, nor prevent the City from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation, or to bring an action to enjoin any violation of this article.
(c) 
In addition, an action may be instituted to compel a user to cease using the well or spring for drinking water or agricultural purposes.