Town of Haverstraw, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The JRSB shall have the power to impose penalties for the violation of any section of this local law. A proceeding to impose the appropriate penalties shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation either personally or by certified mail (returnable to the JRSB) upon the alleged violator. After such service, the JRSB may initiate any or all of the following actions to penalize the alleged violator and ensure compliance with the local law.
A. 
Notice of violation. A notice of violation is used to notify the industrial user of its pretreatment violation(s) and to inform the user that a fine has been assessed by the JRSB. The notice of violation shall include a provision explaining that full payment of the fine is due to the JRSB within a specified period of time.
B. 
Administrative order. An administrative order is a formal order issued by the JRSB specifying that the industrial user is in noncompliance and outlines actions which are required on behalf of the industry to bring itself into compliance, including but not limited to the payment of an administrative order.
C. 
Show cause hearing. A show cause hearing is either a formal or informal meeting between the noncomplying industry and the JRSB. One outcome of this meeting may be the assessment of an administrative fine. In some cases a show cause hearing is granted to provide the industry an opportunity to appeal the fine.
D. 
Civil litigation. Civil litigation is the formal process of filing lawsuits against industrial users to secure court ordered action to correct violations and to secure penalties for violations, including the recovery of costs to the JRSB for the noncompliance. This course of action is normally pursued when the corrective action required is either costly and complex, the penalty to be assessed exceeds that which the JRSB can assess administratively or when the industrial user is considered to be recalcitrant and unwilling to cooperate.
E. 
Criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution is the formal process of charging individuals and/or organizations with violations of ordinance provisions that are punishable, upon conviction, by fines and/or imprisonment. The purposes of criminal prosecution are to punish noncompliance established through court proceedings and to deter future noncompliance. Criminal offenses are traditionally defined as either felonies or misdemeanors.
F. 
Termination of sewer service. Termination of sewer service is the revocation of an industrial user's privilege to discharge industrial wastewater into the JRSB's sewer system.
G. 
Supplemental enforcement responses. Supplemental enforcement responses are actions which complement the more traditional enforcement responses described in the preceding sections. The development and application of such responses must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
A. 
The JRSB, its Executive Director, inspectors, Pretreatment Coordinator or employees are hereby empowered to issue a notice of violation when it(they) is(are) aware that any pretreatment violation has occurred. The notice of violation is an official communication from the POTW to the noncomplying industrial user, informing the industrial user that a pretreatment violation has occurred. The notice of violation is the most appropriate response to a nonsignificant violation. However, a notice of violation may be issued in the case of significant noncompliance, if issued prior to either the issuance of an administrative order or judicial remedies. The notice of violation, being an official communication, shall be in writing and on the letterhead of the JRSB. The notice of violation shall contain the following minimum findings of fact:
(1) 
That the JRSB is charged with constructing, maintaining and regulating the use of the sewer system and treatment works.
(2) 
In order to protect the sewer system and pretreatment works, the JRSB administers a pretreatment program.
(3) 
Under this program the industrial user was issued a permit.
(4) 
The permit contained numerical limits on the quantity of pollutants which the industry could discharge, as well as self-monitoring requirements and other duties.
(5) 
On the _____ day of __________, _____, pollutant analysis indicated that the quantity of (pollutant) exceeded the permit limitation, et cetera.
B. 
The notice of violation must be delivered to the user no later than five business days after the discovery of the noncompliance. A photocopy of all executed notices of violation shall be placed in the file of the noncomplying industrial user along with the certified mail receipt or a statement from the person who delivered the notice of violation. If the user does not return to compliance as a result of the notice of violation, the JRSB may escalate to more stringent enforcement responses. (See forms at end of local law.)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said forms are included at the end of this chapter.
In situations where an industrial user fails to correct a violation within 15 days of receiving a notice of violation, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator shall issue an administrative order for the correction of the violation. In such circumstances the industrial user shall not be relieved of any civil or criminal responsibility for unauthorized discharge(s) which occurs during the fifteen-day interval. An administrative order is an enforcement document which directs the industrial user to undertake or to cease specified activities. It is not required that administrative orders be negotiated with the industrial user. Administrative orders are recommended as the first formal response to significant noncompliance and may incorporate compliance schedules, administrative penalties and termination of service. The JRSB may issue any of the following types of orders: cease and desist orders; consent orders; show cause orders; and compliance orders.
A. 
Cease and desist orders. In situations where the JRSB, its Executive Director and/or Pretreatment Coordinator discover that a discharge of wastewater has taken place in violation of prohibitions or limitations of this ordinance or the provisions of a wastewater discharge permit and such discharge threatens to endanger human health and/or the environment or interfere with the POTW, then either the JRSB, its Executive Director or the Pretreatment Coordinator may issue an order to cease and desist such violation against the violator. In addition, the persons not complying with such prohibitions, limits, requirements or provisions may be directed to comply forthwith with this local law and/or a wastewater discharge permit. Such compliance may be in accordance with a time schedule as set forth by the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator; in the alternative the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator may take the appropriate remedial or preventive action to avoid a potential or threatened violation. The cease and desist order directs the noncompliant user to immediately cease illegal or unauthorized discharges or to terminate its discharge altogether where the discharge could cause interference or pass-through or otherwise create an emergency situation. In nonemergency situations, the cease and desist order may be used to suspend or permanently revoke industrial wastewater discharge permits. If the user fails to comply with the order, the JRSB may take independent action to halt the discharge. Such independent action shall include, but is not limited to, terminating water service and/or blocking the user's connection point.
B. 
Consent orders.
(1) 
The consent order is an agreement between the JRSB and the industrial user normally containing four elements:
(a) 
Compliance schedules.
(b) 
Stipulated fines or remedial actions.
(c) 
The statement that "none of the foregoing agreements, statements, stipulations and actions taken by the industrial user" shall be deemed an admission by the user of the allegations contained within the notice of violation referred to herein. The agreements, statements, stipulations, findings and actions taken herein are made for the purpose of settling this matter economically and amicably and they shall not be used for any purpose, except for any proceedings to enforce the provisions of this consent order.
(d) 
Signatures of JRSB and industry representatives.
(2) 
A consent order is appropriate when the user assumes responsibility for its noncompliance and is willing, through a show of good faith, to correct the cause of the noncompliance.
C. 
Show cause orders. A show cause order directs the user to appear before the JRSB, explain its noncompliance and show cause why more severe enforcement action against the user should not go forward. The show cause order is typically issued after informal contacts and notice of violation has failed to resolve the noncompliance. However, the JRSB may also utilize the show cause order/hearing to investigate violations of previous orders. The show cause hearing can be conducted by the JRSB, the Attorney for the Board, the Executive Director, the Pretreatment Coordinator or an impartial official designated by the JRSB. It is within the sole discretion of the JRSB whether the show cause hearing is to be formal or informal and whether it will be open to the public. The purpose of the hearing is to enable the JRSB to gather information, hear testimony and interview witnesses regarding whether the industrial user caused or allowed an unauthorized discharge into the system. At said hearing the industrial user has the right to admit or deny the noncompliance, explain mitigating circumstances, demonstrate its eventual compliance and describe all other corrective measures. Prior to a hearing's being conducted, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator shall serve a notice on the industrial user specifying the time and place for the meeting, the proposed enforcement action, the reasons for such action and a request that the industrial user show cause why this proposed enforcement action should not be taken. The notice of the hearing shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Such notice may be served on any principal executive, general partner or corporate officer. Whether or not a duly notified industrial user appears as noticed, immediate enforcement action may be pursued. The hearing officer(s) shall review all of the evidence and determine what further action, if any, shall be taken. In the event of an impasse between the industrial user and the hearing officer(s), the JRSB may, subsequent to the hearing, issue a compliance order, including a schedule, impose a fine or refer the case to its attorney for civil litigation or criminal prosecution.
D. 
Compliance order. When the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator finds that an industrial user has violated or continues to violate the local law or a permit or order issued thereunder, he (it) may issue an order to the industrial user responsible for the discharge directing that, following a specified time period, sewer service shall be disconnected unless adequate treatment facilities, devices or other related appurtenances have been installed and are properly operating. Orders may also contain such other requirements as might be reasonably necessary and appropriate to address the noncompliance, including the installation of pretreatment technology, additional self-monitoring and management practices. (See forms at end of local law.[1])
[1]
Editor's Note: Said forms are included at the end of this chapter.
Notwithstanding any other section of this local law, any industrial user who is found to have violated any provision of this local law or permits and orders issued hereunder shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $5,000 per violation. Each day on which noncompliance shall occur or continue shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. Such assessments may be added to the industrial user's next scheduled sewer service charge, and the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator shall have such other collection remedies as he has to collect other service charges. Unpaid charges, fines and penalties shall constitute a lien against the individual user's property. Industrial users desiring to dispute such fines must file a request for the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator to reconsider the fine within 10 days of being notified of the fine. Where the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator believes a request has merit, he shall convene a hearing on the matter within 15 days of receiving the request from the industrial user.
A. 
The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator may suspend the wastewater treatment service and/or wastewater permit of an industrial user whenever such suspension is necessary in order to stop an actual or threatened discharge presenting or causing an imminent or substantial endangerment to the health or welfare of persons, the POTW or the environment.
B. 
Any user notified of a suspension of the wastewater treatment service and/or the wastewater permit shall immediately stop or eliminate its contribution. In the event of a user's failure to immediately comply voluntarily with the suspension order, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator shall take such steps as deemed necessary, including immediate severance of the sewer connection, to prevent or minimize damage to the POTW, its receiving stream or endangerment to any individuals. The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator shall allow the user to recommence its discharge when the endangerment has passed, unless the termination proceedings set forth in § 137-47 are initiated against the user.
C. 
An industrial user who is responsible, in whole or in part, for imminent endangerment shall submit a detailed written statement describing the causes of the harmful contribution and the measures taken to prevent any future occurrence to the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator prior to the date of the hearing described in § 137-44C. (See forms at end of local law.[1])
[1]
Editor's Note: Said forms are included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
Significant industrial users proposing to discharge into the POTW must first obtain a wastewater discharge permit from the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator. Any user who violates the following conditions of this local law or a wastewater discharge permit or order or any applicable state and/or federal law is subject to permit termination:
(1) 
Violation of permit conditions.
(2) 
Failure to accurately report the wastewater constituents and characteristics of its discharge.
(3) 
Failure to report significant changes in operations or wastewater constituents and characteristics.
(4) 
Refusal of reasonable access to the user's premises for the purpose of inspection, monitoring or sampling.
B. 
Noncompliant industrial users will be notified of the proposed termination of their wastewater permit and be offered an opportunity to show cause under § 137-44C of this local law why the proposed action should not be taken. (See forms at end of local law.)
If any person discharges sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into the wastewater disposal system contrary to the provisions of this local law or any order or permit issued hereunder, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator, through the attorney for the JRSB, may commence an action for appropriate legal and/or equitable relief in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, Rockland County.
Whenever an industrial user has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this local law or permit or order issued hereunder, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator, through the attorney for the JRSB, may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of a preliminary or permanent injunction, or both (as may be appropriate), which restrains the activities or compels certain activities on the part of the industrial user. The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator shall have such remedies to collect these fees as it has to collect other sewer service charges.
A. 
Any industrial user who has violated or continues to violate this local law or any order or permit issued hereunder shall be liable to the JRSB for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 but at least $1,000, plus actual damages incurred by the POTW, per violation per day for as long as the violation continues. In addition to the above-described penalty and damages, the JRSB may recover reasonable attorney's fees, court costs and other expenses associated with the enforcement activities, including but not limited to sampling and monitoring expenses.
B. 
The JRSB shall petition the court to assess, impose and recover such sums as set forth in Subsection A above. In determining the amount of liability, the court shall take into account all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the extent of harm caused by the violation; the magnitude and duration of the violation; any economic benefit to the industrial user as a result of the violation; corrective actions by the industrial user; the compliance history of the industrial user, and any other factor as justice requires.
A. 
Violations generally.
(1) 
Any industrial user who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this local law or any orders or permits issued hereunder shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation per day or imprisonment for not more than one year or both.
(2) 
In the event of a second conviction, the user shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $3,000 per violation per day or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.
B. 
Falsifying information.
(1) 
Any industrial user who knowingly makes any false statements, representations or certifications in any application, record, report, plan or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this local law or wastewater permit, or who falsifies, tampers with or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required under this local law shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 per violation per day or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(2) 
In the event of a second conviction, the user shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $3,000 per violation per day or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.
A. 
Annual publication of significant violators. The Executive Director shall publish, at least annually in the largest daily newspaper circulated in the service area, a description of those industrial users which are found to be in significant violation of any provisions of this local law or any permit or order issued hereunder during the period since the previous publication.
B. 
Performance bonds. The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator may decline to reissue a permit to any industrial user which has failed to comply with the provisions of this local law or any order or previous permit issued hereunder unless such industrial user first files with the JRSB a satisfactory bond, payable to the POTW, in a sum not to exceed a value determined by either the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator to be necessary to achieve consistent compliance.
C. 
Liability insurance. The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator may decline to reissue a permit to any industrial user which has failed to comply with the provisions of this local law or any order or previous permit issued hereunder unless the industrial user first submits proof that it has obtained financial assurances sufficient to restore or repair damage caused to the POTW by its discharge.
D. 
Water supply severance. Whenever an industrial user has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this local law or an order or permit issued hereunder, water service to the industrial user may be severed and service will only recommence, at the user's expense, after it has satisfactorily demonstrated its ability to comply.
E. 
Public nuisances. Any violation of the prohibitions or effluent limitations of this local law or permit or order issued hereunder is hereby declared a public nuisance and shall be corrected or abated as directed by the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator. Any person(s) creating a public nuisance shall be subject to any applicable provisions of this local law, the codes, rules and regulations of any participating member(s) or the New York State Penal Law as same governs such nuisances.
F. 
Informant rewards. The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator is authorized to pay up to $500 for information leading to the discovery of noncompliance by an industrial user. In the event that the information provided results in an administrative fine or civil penalty levied against the industrial user, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator is authorized to disperse up to 10% of the collected fine or penalty to the informant. However, a single reward payment may not exceed $10,000 and such disbursement is within the sole discretion of the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator.
G. 
Contractor listings.
(1) 
In the discretion of the JRSB, industrial users which have not achieved consistent compliance with applicable pretreatment standards and requirements may not be eligible to receive a contractual award for the sale of goods or services to the JRSB.
(2) 
Existing contracts for the sale of goods or services to the JRSB held by an industrial user found to be in significant violation with pretreatment standards may be terminated at the discretion of the JRSB.
A. 
Treatment upsets.
(1) 
Any industrial user which experiences an upset in operations that places it in a temporary state of noncompliance which is not the result of operational error, improperly designed treatment facilities, inadequate treatment facilities, lack of preventive maintenance or careless or improper operation shall inform the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator immediately upon becoming aware of the upset. Where such information is given orally, a written report shall be filed by the industrial user within five days. The report shall contain:
(a) 
A description of the upset, its cause(s) and impact on the discharger's compliance status.
(b) 
The duration of noncompliance, including exact dates and times of noncompliance, and if the noncompliance is continuing, the time by which compliance is reasonably expected to be restored.
(c) 
All steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate and prevent recurrence of such an upset.
(2) 
An industrial user which complies with the notification provisions of this section in a timely manner shall have an affirmative defense to any enforcement action brought by the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator for any noncompliance with this local law or order or permit issued hereunder, if such violation occurred during the period of the documented and verified upset.
B. 
Treatment bypasses.
(1) 
A bypass of the POTW is prohibited unless all of the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The bypass was unavoidable to prevent loss of life, personal injury or severe property damage;
(b) 
There was no feasible alternative to the bypass, including the use of auxiliary treatment or retention of the wastewater; and
(c) 
The industrial user properly notified the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator as described in Subsection B(2) below.
(2) 
An industrial user must provide immediate notice to the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator upon discovery of an unanticipated bypass. If necessary, the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator may require the industrial user to submit a written report explaining the cause(s), nature and duration of the bypass and the steps being taken to prevent its recurrence.
(3) 
An industrial user may allow a bypass to occur which does not cause pretreatment standards or requirements to be violated, but only if it is for essential maintenance to ensure efficient operation of the treatment system. Industrial users anticipating a bypass must submit a notice to the JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator at least 10 days in advance. The JRSB, its Executive Director or Pretreatment Coordinator may only approve the anticipated bypass if the circumstances satisfy those set forth in Subsection B(1) above.