[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Lower Merion 1-15-1975 by Ord. No. 1734. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any land to stop, fill up, confine, pave or otherwise interfere with or change the course of any drain, ditch, stream or watercourse in the Township of Lower Merion without first obtaining from the Township Secretary a permit authorizing such work to be performed; and no drain, ditch, stream or watercourse shall be stopped, filled up, confined, paved or otherwise interfered with or the course thereof changed except in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of such permit and the plans and specifications submitted therewith.
[Amended 1-18-1978 by Ord. No. 1811; 11-20-1996 by Ord. No. 3433; 1-19-2002 by Ord. No. 3630]
The application for a permit shall be in a form prescribed by the Township, verified by affidavit made by the owner and accompanied by plans and specifications prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor. Within five days after the application and plans and specifications are filed, the Director of Building and Planning of the Township of Lower Merion shall notify the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or other agency overseeing permits relating to watercourses of the size for which the permit is sought and all municipalities which are adjacent to the Township of Lower Merion of the occurrence and contents of the filings. The plans and specifications shall show the exact nature of the work to be performed; the course, structure and capacity of all drains, ditches, streams and watercourses; the method of drainage of the adjacent or contiguous territory; and any other necessary and explanatory details required by the Township. The delineation of the identified floodplain area may be revised by the Township of Lower Merion where natural or man-made changes have occurred and/or more detailed studies conducted or undertaken by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, a River Basin Commission or other qualified agency or individual documenting the necessity for such changes. However, prior to any such changes, approval must be obtained from the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA).
[Amended 2-20-2013 by Ord. No. 3995]
The application and plans and specifications shall be filed in triplicate with the Township Secretary. The Land Development Committee of the Township may require alterations, changes or modifications in the plans and specifications which it deems necessary and may refuse a permit until such alterations, changes and modifications have been made. No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse unless it can be shown that the activity will not reduce or impede the flood-carrying capacity of the watercourse in any way. The Land Development Committee shall be composed of the heads of departments and such other Township employees as the Chairman may appoint. The Chairman of the Land Development Committee shall be appointed by the Township Manager. If the Land Development Committee shall disapprove the plans and specifications submitted and refuse a permit, the reasons therefor will be set forth in writing and given to the applicant, who may, within 30 days thereafter, appeal to the Board of Commissioners. Before acting upon such appeal, the Board of Commissioners may, in its discretion, arrange for a public hearing after giving such notice as it deems desirable. The appeal will be considered at the next regular meeting of the Board, and its decision will be final. The Township Secretary will issue a permit to the applicant upon favorable action by the Land Development Committee or the Board of Commissioners.
The Township Engineer shall be notified at least 24 hours in advance of the commencement of the work in order that provision may be made for proper inspection thereof. Samples of material and every reasonable facility for ascertaining whether the work is in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance of the Township of Lower Merion shall be furnished to the employees of the Township in the same manner as is required of contractors under the terms of the Township Standards and Specifications for Highway Improvements.
[Amended 9-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1802]
A fee, as set forth in the Township Schedule of Fees, as adopted and amended from time to time by the Board of Commissioners, shall be paid to the Township Secretary when the application is filed; and the owner shall also pay the actual cost of any material tests and reimburse the Township for necessary inspection at the rate set forth in the Township Schedule of Fees for each hour or portion thereof a Township inspector is engaged on the work.
[Amended 8-3-1988 by Ord. No. 3104]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a fine or penalty not exceeding $600 for each and every offense; and when any person shall have been notified by the Township Engineer or by service of summons in a prosecution or any other way that he is committing a violation of this chapter, each day in which the violation is continued after such notification shall constitute a separate offense, punishable by like fine or penalty.
[Added 7-21-1993 by Ord. No. 3330]
If, because of an accident or other activity or incident, a substance which would pollute the waters of the commonwealth located within the Township and could endanger downstream users of the waters or its aquatic life or could damage property is discharged into these waters, including but not limited to sewers, drains, ditches or other channels of conveyance into the waters, or is so placed that it might discharge, flow, leach, be washed or fall into them, it shall be the responsibility of the person at the time of such incident in charge of the substance or owning or occupying the premises, facility, vehicle or vessel from or on which the substance is discharged or placed to forthwith notify the Township Manager's office or the Township Emergency Number (215-642-4200), such owner or occupant and the Department of Environmental Protection in Conshohocken (215-832-6000) by telephone of the location and nature of the incident and, if reasonably possible to do so, to notify known downstream users of the waters.