[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Schuylkill 12-4-1974. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate modification of natural terrain and alteration of drainage by providing for certain runoff, erosion and sediment control measures within Schuylkill Township (the "Township") to protect public health, safety and welfare. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as: "The Schuylkill Township Soil Erosion, Sedimentation and Grading Control Ordinance." It implements Title 25, Environmental Protection, Part I, Department of Environmental Protection, Subpart C, Protection of Natural Resources, Article II, Water Resources, Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control.
Whenever the topography and vegetation are to be disturbed a plan for the control of erosion and sediment is required.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to pave, fill, strip, or change the existing grade of any land within the Township without first securing a permit.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to disturb, modify, block, divert or affect the natural overland or subsurface flow of stormwater within the Township without first securing a permit.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, erect or install any dam, ditch, culvert, drain pipe, bridge or any other structure or obstruction substantially affecting the drainage of any premises in the Township without first securing a permit.
Whenever the topography or vegetation is to be disturbed and the proposal involves less than one acre, a permit shall be required, subject to Subsection E of this section, but no fee shall be payable.
Notwithstanding the prior provisions of this § 299-2, no permit shall be required hereunder for:
Any activity for which a permit must be obtained from any agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
Normal agricultural operations; or
Any developed residential lot where the following conditions are met:
The aggregate area disturbed at one time does not exceed 5,000 square feet;
The grade level is not changed to an extent which substantially alters the direction, or increases the rate, of runoff in such area; and
All bare earth is promptly seeded, sodded or otherwise effectively protected from erosion.
Any person, firm or corporation proposing to engage in activity requiring a permit hereunder shall apply for a permit by written application, which shall include the applicant's agreement to comply with the regulations in § 299-7 hereof upon issuance of the permit.
The applicant is encouraged to consult with surrounding municipalities which can be affected by, or can affect, the proposed land development. He should also consult Chapter 370, Zoning, Chapter 320, Subdivision and Land Development, and Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention, of the Code of the Township of Schuylkill which regulate the development of land within the Township.
A separate application shall be required for each grading operation. Three copies of all the documents referred to in § 299-4 hereof shall be submitted with each application, one of which, at the discretion of the Township Engineer, shall be submitted to the Chester County Conservation District for review and comment. At any time when the Township does not have either an employed or regularly retained Engineer or firm of engineers all applications shall automatically be forwarded to the said District for such purpose.
The application for a permit shall be accompanied by a plan of the property showing:
An area plan, or plans, describing existing and proposed features of the area surrounding the site of the work, including topography, existing vegetation, watercourses, man-made features, the affected watersheds and other pertinent natural features. This may be in the form of a recent USGS map with the property and required features located thereon.
A topographical survey of the site, at a suitable scale wherein one inch equals 50 feet or less and contour interval of no more than two feet zero inches, prepared by a registered surveyor or registered engineer, including also a boundary line survey, the location and description of vegetative cover, soil types (available from Chester County Soil Conservation District) and any other pertinent existing natural or man-made features.
A written description of soil erosion and sediment control measures (with appropriate plans and specification), in accordance with standards and specifications of the USDA Soil Conservation Service, Chester County Conservation District and Township ordinances, including, without limitation, retention basins or other control measures necessary to limit the rate of stormwater runoff to comply with the requirements of § 299-5C hereof.
A time schedule indicating the anticipated starting and completion dates of the development sequence, the expected date of completion of construction of each of the measures referred to in Subsection D of this section and the time of exposure of each area prior to the completion of such measures.
When the area of site to be disturbed exceeds one acre, or when smaller sites are environmentally sensitive because of the presence of watercourses or unusual drainage conditions, the Township Engineer may require any or all of the following additional information. This information shall be supplied when the area to be disturbed exceeds five acres and it shall then be prepared by a registered professional civil engineer, agronomist or other professional qualified in hydrology.
A plan shall indicate present and proposed sources, storage and disposition of water being channeled through or across the site, together with elevations, gradients and maximum flow rates. The application shall describe the work to be performed, the materials to be used and the manner, or method, of performance, including provisions for protecting and maintaining existing drainage facilities, whether on public or private property.
Calculations to determine runoff shall be based on the Soil-Cover Complex Method, which is available from the USDA Soil Conservation Service, West Chester, or if the applicant can demonstrate the inappropriateness of such method, calculations may be based upon other generally accepted and applicable engineering methods. The design criteria for storm sewer piping and inlet systems, retention basins, spillways, culverts, swales and all related facilities shall be those published by the USDA Soil Conservation Service and available at its Chester County office. The coefficient of runoff used for all areas upstream of any drainage structure shall be computed on the basis of the projected land use contained in the Township Comprehensive Plan.
The following provisions apply to the carrying and disposal of stormwater runoff.
All drainage facilities shall be designed in the most practicable fashion to control surface water runoff in such a manner as to prevent erosion and flooding. Such facilities shall be designed to retard the rate of stormwater runoff to approximately the same rate as that existing prior to construction of the project.
The applicant shall agree to the granting and recording of easements for drainage facilities, including acceptance of the discharge of water from the property of others, provisions for maintenance of slopes and swales, and access for the maintenance of anti-erosion facilities.
If load-bearing fill is proposed, a soils investigation report shall be submitted which shall consist of test borings, laboratory testings and engineering analysis to correlate surface and subsurface conditions with the proposed grading plan. The results of the investigation shall include: data regarding the nature, distribution and supporting ability of existing soils and rocks on the site; conclusions and recommendations to ensure stable soil conditions, and ground water control, as applicable. The Township may require such supplemental reports and data as is deemed necessary by the Township Engineer.
Fills toeing out on natural slopes steeper than four horizontal to one vertical shall not be made unless approved by the Township Engineer after receipt of a report by a registered professional engineer, qualified in soils analysis, certifying that he has investigated the property, made soil tests and that, in his opinion, such steeper slopes will safely support the proposed fill.
Natural and/or existing slopes exceeding five horizontal to one vertical shall be benched or continuously stepped into competent materials, as determined by the Township Engineer, prior to placing all classes of fill.
The Township Engineer shall approve and issue all permits in letter form.
The permittee is responsible for any property damage or personal injury caused by his activity authorized by the permit.
No person, firm or corporation shall modify, fill, excavate, pave, grade or regrade land in any manner as to endanger or damage public or private property, or to cause physical damage or personal injury. All precautions will be taken to prevent any damage to adjoining streets, sidewalks, buildings and other structures which could be caused by settling, cracking, erosion or sediment.
No person, firm or corporation shall fail to adequately maintain in good operating order any drainage facility on his premises. All watercourses, drainage ditches, culverts, drain pipes and drainage structures shall be kept open and free flowing at all times.
No person, firm or corporation shall deposit or place any debris or other material in any watercourses, drainage ditch or structure in such a manner as to obstruct free flow.
The owner of any property on which any work has been done pursuant to a permit granted under this chapter shall continuously maintain and repair all graded surfaces and anti-erosion devices such as retaining walls, drainage structures or means, plantings and ground cover, installed or completed. Each permit holder shall advise transferees of property covered by a permit, in writing, of the requirements of this section, prior to entry of a binding agreement of sale for such property.
All graded surfaces shall be seeded, sodded, planted or otherwise protected from erosion within 60 days, weather permitting, and shall be watered, tended and maintained until growth is well established. The disturbed area and duration of exposure shall be kept to a practical minimum.
Precautions shall be taken to prevent the unnecessary removal of trees and their protection by suitable tree wells, as determined by the Township Engineer.
When required, adequate provisions shall be made for dust control measures as determined by the Township Engineer.
All plans and specifications accompanying applications for permits shall include provisions for both temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control.
The design, installation and maintenance of erosion and sediment control measures shall be accomplished in accordance with standards and specifications established by the USDA Soil Conservation Service and the Chester County Soil Conservation District.
A quality control program is critical for fills. Therefore, wherever load-bearing fill material is to be used, each layer of compacted fill shall be tested to determine its dry density per ASTM D 1556. The density of each layer shall not be less than 95% of maximum dry density as determined by ASTM D 1557.
Compaction test reports shall be kept on file at the site and be subject to review at all times by the Township Engineer.
All inspections shall be the responsibility of the Township Engineer or, in his absence, a qualified person acceptable to the Township.
Engineering check notes shall accompany all as-built plans which involve structural or mechanical measures and shall serve as supporting evidence that structures meet design standards and specifications as contained herein.
A final inspection shall be conducted by the Township Engineer to certify compliance with this chapter. Satisfactory compliance with this chapter shall be necessary before issuance of an occupancy permit.
A fee, as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, is required upon initial submission of an application under this chapter, except as provided by § 299-2D. Cost of all inspections (other than the initial inspection and the final inspection) will be billed to the applicant as inspections are completed, at the rate per inspection as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Payments must be made within 30 days, and no occupancy permit will be issued until all payments have been made. If an application involves less than one acre no fee will be required.
Any permit issued under this chapter may be revoked or suspended by the Board of Supervisors of the Township, after notice for:
Failure to carry out the control measures described in the application at the appropriate times as specified in the applicable time schedule or within such reasonable extension as may be granted by the Township Engineer;
Violation of any other condition of the permit;
Violation of any provision of this chapter or any other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation relating to the work; and
Existence of any condition or the doing of any act constituting or creating a nuisance, hazard or endangering human life or the property of others.
The Township Engineer, before issuing a permit for a project which exceeds five acres, shall require cash bond or corporate surety bond in a form satisfactory to him conditioned upon the faithful performance of the control measures and other conditions specified in the permit within the time specified, or within any extension thereof granted by the Township Engineer in the amount of the total estimated cost of all control measures and safeguards for adjoining properties. Said bond may be combined with a bond filed under Chapter 320, Subdivision and Land Development, of the Code of the Township of Schuylkill. Each bond shall be maintained and renewed annually and shall be executed by a surety or guaranty company qualified to transact business in the Commonwealth.
In case of any paving, filling, stripping, grading or regrading; any disturbing, modifying, blocking or diverting the natural overland or subsurface flow of stormwater; or any construction, erection and installation of any dam, ditch, culvert, drain pipe, bridge or any other structure or obstruction affecting the drainage of any premises, in violation of this chapter, or any regulations made pursuant thereto, the proper Township authorities, in addition to other remedies provided by law, may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent such unlawful activity; to restrain, correct or abate such violation; to prevent the use of the applicable premises; or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises. In addition, upon the failure of any permit holder to complete the control measures specified in his application, the Township may, after revoking such permit, proceed to complete such measures itself, and recover the cost thereof from the permittee or his surety.
For any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, the owner, general agent, or contractor of a building or premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist; the lessee or tenant of an entire building or entire premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist; the owner, general agent, contractor, lessee or tenant of any part of a building or premises in which part such violation has been committed or shall exist; and the general agent, architect, contractor or any other person who knowingly commits, takes part or assists in any such violation or who maintains any building or premises in which any such violation shall exist shall be liable on conviction thereof to a fine or penalty not exceeding $1,000 for each and every offense.
Whenever such person, or persons, shall have been officially notified by the Zoning Officer, or by service of a summons in a prosecution, or in any other official manner, that he is committing a violation of this chapter, each day's continuance of such violation after such notification shall constitute a separate offence punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now collected by law.