[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
[Adopted 4-29-2008 by L.L. No. 12-2008 (Ch. 445, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]
This Legislature hereby finds that Suffolk County owns and operates a municipal separate storm sewer system ("municipal system").
This Legislature further finds that the County is required to implement a local law to enforce local programs to detect and eliminate illicit discharges and illicit connections to the municipal system and reduce the discharge of pollutants into the municipal system pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1342, the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder and New York Environmental Conservation Law Article 17, Title 8.
This Legislature further finds it necessary to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Suffolk County by protecting against illicit discharges and illicit connections to the municipal system that result in:
An increase of a pollutant of concern;
A violation of a total maximum daily load allocation;
A violation of a federal or state water quality standard; or
A violation of the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit No. GP-02-02, as amended, for stormwater discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems, issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to Suffolk County pursuant to New York State Environmental Conservation Law Article 17, Title 8.
This Legislature further finds that the above General Permit No. GP-02-02, as amended, also requires the County to implement a local law to detect and prohibit illicit discharges to the municipal system and to implement appropriate enforcement procedures and actions.
This Legislature further finds it necessary to establish a mechanism to recoup the cost of detecting and eliminating illicit discharges and illicit connections to the municipal system and the cost of damages to the municipal system caused by nonstormwater discharges.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to create a local law for controlling illicit discharges and illicit connections into the municipal system, to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Suffolk County, and to establish an enforcement program to accomplish these goals.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, or his designee.
- DYE TESTING
- A test to determine whether a connection to the municipal system exists.
- ILLICIT CONNECTION
- Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, direct or indirect, which allows an illicit discharge to the municipal system.
- ILLICIT DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the municipal system, except as exempted in § 759-4 of this article.
- ILLICIT DISCHARGE DETECTION AND ELIMINATION ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- An employee of Suffolk County empowered to administer and enforce the illicit discharge detection and elimination component of the stormwater management program.
- MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM ("MUNICIPAL SYSTEM")
- A conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, retention basins, outfall structures or storm drains):
- POLLUTANT OF CONCERN
- A substance on the most current list prepared by the Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, on file with the Office of the Clerk of the County Legislature, which specifies the primary pollutants causing pollution of water bodies listed pursuant to Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C. § 1313(d)].
- RESPONSIBLE DISCHARGER
- Any individual, corporation, association, partnership, or other entity recognized by law causing or permitting to be caused a violation of this article.
- Rainwater, surface runoff, snowmelt and drainage.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER
- An employee of Suffolk County designated to provide overall management and oversight of the stormwater management program.
- TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD ALLOCATION
- The maximum amount of a pollutant allowed to be released under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act and regulations promulgated thereunder.
- WATER QUALITY STANDARD
- Such measure of purity or quality for any waters in relation to their reasonable and necessary use as may be established by:
- A. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation pursuant to New York Environmental Conservation Law § 17-0301 and 6 NYCRR Parts 700 through 706;
- B. The New York State Department of Health, pursuant to the Public Health Law; or
- C. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, pursuant to the Clean Water Act.
In the event of any illicit discharge, the responsible discharger shall immediately notify the appropriate emergency response agencies and the Commissioner, and take all necessary steps to investigate, contain, eliminate and abate or remediate such release as required by any federal, state or local law.
The responsible discharger shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after an illicit discharge, notify the Commissioner in writing of such discharge. Such notification shall contain information required by the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment at which the illicit discharge occurs shall retain on-site a written record of the discharge and those actions taken to prevent recurrence of the illicit discharge. Such records shall be retained for a period of three years as measured from the date of the illicit discharge.
The remediation requirements set forth in this section shall not be construed to constitute compliance with other applicable laws, rules or regulations.
The following discharges shall be exempt from the prohibitions of this article unless such discharges have been previously determined to be substantial contributors of pollutants by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:
Water line flushing or other potable water sources;
Landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
Existing diverted stream flows;
Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration to storm drains;
Uncontaminated water from foundation or footing drains, crawl spaces or basement sump pumps;
Water from individual residential car washings;
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges;
Residential street washwater; and
Discharges from fire-fighting activities.
The Commissioner may, in writing, approve an exemption which authorizes a discharge necessary to protect life or property from imminent harm or damage; provided, however, that such approval shall not be construed to constitute compliance with other applicable laws, rules and regulations, and further provided that such approval shall contain such conditions as deemed appropriate in the Commissioner's sole discretion.
The Commissioner may, in writing, approve an exemption which authorizes a dye testing discharge; provided, however, that such approval shall not be construed to constitute compliance with other applicable laws, rules and regulations, and further provided that such approval shall contain such conditions as deemed appropriate in the Commissioner's sole discretion.
The prohibitions in this article shall not apply to any discharge permitted under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1342, a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued pursuant to New York Environmental Conservation Law Article 17, Title 8, and any waiver or waste discharge order issued to the discharger under the authority of an authorized governmental agency; provided, however, that the discharger is in full compliance with such permit, waiver or order.
The exemptions set forth in this section shall not be construed to constitute compliance with other applicable laws, rules or regulations.
The Commissioner, in consultation with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy, shall promulgate such rules and regulations as deemed necessary and appropriate for the implementation and enforcement of any provision of this article. Such rules shall govern the conduct of adjudicatory proceedings and appeals, and the Commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to consult with the County Attorney to draft such rules providing for due process procedural mechanisms.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy are hereby authorized, empowered and directed to provide such resources to the Commissioner as may be needed to implement this article.
The Commissioner is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to appoint one or more Stormwater Management Officers and Illicit Discharge and Detection Elimination Enforcement Officers, from the ranks of personnel of the Department of Public Works, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services or the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy, and, upon consultation with said department management, may refer one or more functions necessary for the implementation of this article to those departments.
Any violation of any provision this article shall be subject to a civil penalty, in an amount not less than $250 nor more than $1,000.
Each day of continued violation not corrected to the Commissioner's satisfaction in compliance with this article shall constitute a separate additional violation.
The County Attorney or the Suffolk County District Attorney may commence legal proceedings to restrain, prevent and enjoin a violation of this article or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, to seek civil penalties, equitable remedies, damages, criminal fines and sanctions, and such other and further relief as may be deemed appropriate.
This article shall apply to all illicit discharges and illicit connections occurring on or after the effective date of this article.