[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ellington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by Town Meeting 12-9-2019]
This article is adopted pursuant to Chapter 98 of the Connecticut General Statutes ("C.G.S.") (Section 7-148 et seq.). The purpose of this article is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Ellington (the "Town") through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the Town's stormwater drainage system to the extent practicable as required by federal and state law. This article establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the Town's municipal separate storm sewer system ("Town MS4") in order to comply with requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permit process and the State of Connecticut's General Permit for the Discharge of Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems ("MS4 General Permit"). The objectives of this article are to:
Regulate the contribution of pollutants to the Town MS4 by illicit discharges by any user;
Prohibit illicit connections and illegal discharges to the Town MS4; and
Establish the legal authority to carry out inspection, surveillance, monitoring, and enforcement procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this article.
As used in this article, all words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the MS4 General Permit, except when the context of this article clearly indicates a different meaning, or as defined below.
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ("BMPs")
- Schedules of activities, practices (and prohibitions of practices), structures, vegetation, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants to waters of the state consistent with state, federal or other equivalent and technically supported guidance. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from material storage.
- 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 nonstormwater discharge to the storm drain system, except as exempted by this article.
- ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
- Either of the following:
- A. 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 nonstormwater 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; or
- B. Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial, construction or industrial land use to the storm drain system which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records and approved.
- 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.
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.
- Any individual, association, organization, partnership, firm, corporation, or other entity recognized by law and acting as either the owner, occupant, or as the agent of the owner or occupant.
- 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.
- 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 water or other liquid, other than uncontaminated stormwater, discharged from a facility.
This article shall apply to all water and other discharges generated on any premises that enters the Town MS4 storm drain system, unless explicitly exempted by this article or the Director of Public Works.
The Director of Public Works shall have the authority to administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this article. Any powers granted to or duties imposed upon the Director of Public Works may be delegated in writing to a person(s) that is an employee of the Town or an entity acting as a consultant of the Town.
The provisions of this article are severable. If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this article or the application thereof to any person, premises, facility, 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 Town MS4 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 promulgated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, as may be amended, other than stormwater. The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the Town MS4 is prohibited, except the following discharges are exempt from the discharge prohibitions established by this article:
Water line flushing or other potable water sources, landscape irrigation or lawn watering runoff, diverted stream flows, rising groundwater, groundwater infiltration to storm drains, uncontaminated pumped groundwater, foundation or footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, air-conditioning condensation, springs, washing of noncommercial vehicles, residual street washwater associated with sweeping, natural riparian habitat or wetland flows, swimming pools (if dechlorinated, typically less than one part per million chlorine), firefighting activities (other than training), and any other water source not containing pollutants.
Discharges specified in writing by the Director of Public Works or his/her designee as being necessary to protect public health and safety.
Dye testing, if prior written notice is given to the Director of Public Works or his/her designee or conducted by North Central District Health Department.
Any nonstormwater discharge permitted under a NPDES stormwater discharge 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 prior written approval has been granted for any discharge to the Town MS4.
Any nonstormwater discharge which is authorized by a permit pursuant to C.G.S. §§ 22a-430 or 22a-430b, as may be amended.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the Town MS4 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 article if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the Town MS4, or allows such a connection to continue.
Suspension due to illicit discharges in emergency situations. The Director of Public Works or his/her designee may, without prior notice, suspend a person's discharge to the Town MS4 when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge that 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 ("U.S."). If a violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the Director of Public Works or his/her designee may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the Town MS4 or waters of the U.S., or to minimize danger to persons.
Suspension due to the detection of illicit discharge. Any person discharging to the Town MS4 in violation of this article may have their access to the Town MS4 terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The Director of Public Works or his/her designee will notify a violator of the proposed termination of its access to the Town MS4. The violator may petition the Director of Public Works or his/her designee for a reconsideration and hearing.
A person violates this article if the person reinstates access to the Town MS4 for a premises terminated pursuant to this article, without the prior written approval of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee.
Any person subject to an industrial, commercial 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 of Public Works or his/her designee prior to allowing of discharges to the Town MS4.
Applicability. This article applies to all facilities that have stormwater discharges associated with industrial, commercial or construction activity.
Access to facilities.
The Director of Public Works or his/her designee shall be permitted to enter and inspect premises 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 Director of Public Works or his/her designee.
Premises operators shall allow the Director of Public Works 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 a NPDES stormwater discharge permit, and the performance of any additional duties as defined by state and federal law.
The Director of Public Works or his/her designee shall have the right to set up on any premises such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the premises' stormwater discharge.
The Director of Public Works or his/her designee has the right to require the discharger to install monitoring equipment as necessary. The premises' 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 premises to be inspected and/or sampled shall be promptly removed by the premises operator at the written or oral request of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee. The costs of clearing such access shall be the responsibility of the premises and or premises operator.
Unreasonable delays in allowing the Director of Public Works or his/her designee access to a premises is a violation of a stormwater discharge permit and of this article. A person who is the operator of a premises with a NPDES stormwater discharge permit associated with industrial, commercial or construction activity violates this article if the person denies the Director of Public Works or his/her designee reasonable access to the premises for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this article.
If the Director of Public Works 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 article, 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, or to protect the overall public health, safety, and welfare of the community, then the Director of Public Works or his/her designee may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Director of Public Works or his/her designee will implement requirements identifying best management practices ("BMPs") 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 U.S. Any person responsible for property or premises that is, or may be, the source of illicit discharge may be required to implement, at their own expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to prevent the further discharge of pollutants to the Town MS4. Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid NPDES stormwater discharge permit authorizing the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial, commercial or construction activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed compliance with the provisions of this article.
Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes shall 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 impede the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, said person shall maintain any 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 premises or operation has information of any known or suspected release of materials that are resulting or may result in illegal discharges or pollutants discharging into stormwater, the storm drainage system, or waters of the U.S., 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 the appropriate 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 of Public Works or his/her designee in person or by phone 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 or his/her designee and all appropriate emergency response agencies within three business days of the phone/in-person notice. If the discharge of prohibited materials emanates from a commercial, construction or industrial premises/activity, the owner or operator of such premises/activity 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 a minimum of three full years from the date of occurrence.
Whenever the Director of Public Works or his/her designee finds that a person or premises has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this article, the Director of Public Works or his/her designee may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person. Such notice shall be delivered in accordance with Chapter 46, Citations, and may require, without limitation:
The performance of monitoring, sampling, analyses, and/or reporting;
The elimination of illicit connections or cessation of illegal discharges;
The cessation of violating discharges, practices, or operations;
The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected premises;
Payment of a penalty and/or the Town's administrative and remediation costs; and
The implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
If abatement of a violation and/or restoration of affected premises 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 person fail to remediate or restore by the deadline provided, the work will be done by the Director of Public Works or his/her designee or a third party designated by the Director of Public Works, and the expense thereof shall be charged to the violator.
Any person receiving a notice of violation may appeal the determination of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee. The notice of appeal must be received by the Director of Public Works or his/her designee within 14 days from the date of the notice of violation and must contain a copy of the notice of violation being appealed, as well as a brief statement regarding the grounds for the appeal. Hearing on the appeal shall be before the Ellington Board of Selectmen and shall take place within 14 days from the date of receipt of the notice of appeal. The decision of the Ellington Board of Selectmen shall be final.
If the violation has not been fully corrected as set forth in the notice of violation or, in the event of an appeal, within 14 days of the decision of the Ellington Board of Selectmen upholding the decision of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee, then representatives of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee shall enter upon the subject private premises and are authorized to take any and all measures necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the premises. It shall be unlawful for any person, owner, agent or person in possession of any premises to refuse to allow the Director of Public Works or his/her designee to enter upon the premises for the purposes set forth above.
Within 14 days after abatement of the violation, the owner of the premises will be notified of the cost of abatement, including administrative costs. If the amount due is not paid within the time set forth in the decision of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee, the charges shall become a special assessment against the premises and shall constitute a lien on the premises for the amount of the assessment. Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall become liable to the Town by reason of such violation. The liability shall be paid in not more than 12 equal payments. Interest at the rate of 18% per annum shall be assessed on the balance beginning on the 30th day following discovery of the violation.
It shall be unlawful for any person and/or premises to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this article. If a person and or premises has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this article, the Director of Public Works or his/her designee may petition for a preliminary or permanent injunction restraining the person and/or premises from activities that would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
This article shall be effective 15 days after publication thereof in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the Town of Ellington.
The Town may recover all attorneys' fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with the enforcement of this article, including any sampling and monitoring expenses.
The remedies listed in 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 Director of Public Works to seek cumulative remedies.