[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pittsford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Stormwater Pollution
[Adopted 11-20-2007 as part of L.L. No. 10-2007]
The purpose of this article is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town 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 SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from MS4s, Permit GP-02-02, as 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:
- 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-02-01, 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.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
- DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
- New York State licensed professional engineer or licensed architect.
- 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.
- ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
- 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 the 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 § 128-5A(2) 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 the State of New York, 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 SPDES Permit for Discharges From Industrial Activities Except Construction, GP-98-03, as 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):
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the MS4 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 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 standards.
- Any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.
- A. Discharge compliance with water quality standards: the condition that applies if the Town is 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 Town must take all necessary actions to ensure future discharges do not cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards.
- B. 303(d) listed waters: the condition in the Town'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 Town'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. If the discharge from the MS4 did not meet the TMDL stormwater allocations prior to September 10, 2003, the Town was required to modify its stormwater management program to ensure that reduction of the pollutant of concern specified in the TMDL is achieved.
- D. The condition in the Town'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 Town 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 Town 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 Town Engineer or other public official designated by the Town Board to enforce this article.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Town of Pittsford.
- 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 generated on any developed and/or undeveloped lands.
The Stormwater Management Officer (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 Town Board.
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 § 128-5A(2) of this article. The commencement, conduct or continuance of any discharge to the MS4 not authorized or exempted by this article is prohibited.
The following discharges are exempt from discharge prohibitions established by this article:
Water line 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 fire-fighting 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.
A 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.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the 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's MS4 or allows such a connection to continue.
No persons shall operate a failing individual sewage treatment system in areas tributary to the Town's MS4. A failing individual sewage treatment system is one which has 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 referred to in this section.
Contamination of off-site groundwater.
Such activities include a failing individual sewage treatment system, improper management of pet waste or any other activity that causes or contributes to violations of the Town's MS4 SPDES permit authorization.
Upon notification to a person that he or she is engaged in activities contaminating stormwater, 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 Town's MS4 SPDES permit authorization or the special conditions as defined in § 128-2 of this article.
The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at his or 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 or an activity contaminating stormwater may be required to implement, at such person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to reduce or eliminate the source of pollution 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.
Where an individual sewage treatment systems is contributing to the Town being subject to the special conditions, as defined in § 128-2 of this article, the owner or operator of such Individual sewage treatment system 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:
In accordance with 10 NYCRR, Appendix 75-A, 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 shall be submitted by the design professional to the SMO at the completion of construction of the repair or replacement system.
Any person discharging to the Town MS4 in violation of this article may have his or her MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. Prior to access termination, the SMO shall notify the violator, in writing, of the proposed termination of its MS4 access and the reasons for such termination. A person commits an offense if the person reinstates MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section without the prior approval of the SMO.
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.
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity SPDES stormwater discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of that permit. Proof of compliance with that permit may be required in a form acceptable to the SMO prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
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 SMO 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 SMO 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 shall not unreasonably delay or deny reasonable access to the facility by the SMO for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this article.
If the SMO has been refused access to any part of the premises from which stormwater is discharged, and the SMO 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, then the SMO may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
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, such 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, such person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, such person shall notify the SMO 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 SMO within three business days of the telephone notice. 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 and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
When the SMO finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this article, the SMO 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;
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting; and
The implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
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. Such 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 of that work shall be charged to the violator.
In addition to or as an alternative to any penalty provided in this § 128-13 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.
The SMO may issue appearance tickets for violations of this article.
If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to the requirements set forth in the notice of violation, the SMO shall request the owner's permission or seek a warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction for access to the subject private property to take any and all measures reasonably necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property. The costs of implementing and maintaining such measures shall be recoverable, upon appropriate proceedings, from the violator.
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 may bring an action for injunctive relief in State Supreme Court restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
Where a person has violated a provision of this article, the SMO may, in his or her discretion, find the violator eligible for alternative remedies, in lieu of enforcement proceedings provided for in this article, where:
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 is a threat to public health, safety, and welfare, and is declared and deemed a public nuisance, and may be summarily abated or restored at the violator's expense, and/or a civil action to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance may be taken.
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 authorized enforcement agency to seek cumulative remedies.
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.