[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of West Haven 2-13-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of West Haven through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the storm drainage system to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law. This chapter establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in order to comply with requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process.
The objectives of this chapter are:
To regulate the contribution of pollutants to the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) by any user.
To prohibit illegal connections and discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system.
To establish legal authority to carry out all inspection, surveillance, monitoring and enforcement procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following shall mean:
- AUTHORIZED ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
- Employees or designees of the director of the municipal agency designated to enforce this chapter.
- 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 subject to NPDES construction permits. Currently these include construction projects resulting in land disturbance of one acre or 1/2 acre in accordance with Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) requirements (discharge to impaired water). Such activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating, and demolition.
- 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 or human health, safety, property, or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.
- ILLEGAL DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the storm drain system, except as exempted in § 204-7 of this chapter.
- ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
- Either of the following: Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the storm drain system, including, but not limited to, any conveyances which allow any nonstormwater discharge, including sewage, process wastewater, and wash water, to enter the storm drain system and any connections to the storm drain system from indoor drains and sinks, regardless of whether said drain or connection had been previously allowed, permitted, or approved by an authorized enforcement agency, or any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the storm drain system which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records and approved by an authorized enforcement agency.
- IMPAIRED WATER
- A water body with chronic or recurring monitored violations of the applicable numeric and/or narrative water quality criteria.
- INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
- Activities subject to NPDES industrial permits as defined in 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14).
- NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) STORMWATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
- A permit issued by the EPA [or by a state under delegated authority pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1342(b)] that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States, whether the permit is applicable on an individual, group, or general area-wide basis.
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the storm drain system 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.
- Anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; oil and other automotive fluids; nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects and accumulations, so that same may cause or contribute to pollution; floatables; pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers; hazardous substances and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens; dissolved and particulate metals; animal wastes; wastes and residues that result from constructing activities; and noxious or offensive matter of any kind.
- Any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.
- STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM
- Publicly owned facilities by which stormwater is collected and/or conveyed, including, but not limited to, any roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, gutters, curbs, inlets, piped storm drains, pumping facilities, retention and detention basins, natural and human-made or altered drainage channels, reservoirs, and other drainage structures.
- Any surface flow, runoff, and drainage consisting entirely of water from any form of natural precipitation, and resulting from such precipitation.
- STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PLAN
- A document which describes the best management practices and activities to be implemented by a person or business to identify sources of pollution or contamination at a site and the actions to eliminate or reduce pollutant discharges to stormwater, stormwater conveyance systems, and/or receiving waters to the maximum extent practicable.
- Any water or other liquid, other than uncontaminated stormwater, discharged from a facility.
This chapter shall apply to all water entering the storm drain system generated on any developed and undeveloped lands, unless explicitly exempted by an authorized enforcement agency.
The Department of Public Works shall administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this chapter. Any powers granted or duties imposed upon the authorized enforcement agency may be delegated in writing by the director of the authorized enforcement agency to persons or entities acting in the beneficial interest of or in the employ of the agency.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this chapter 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 chapter.
The standards set forth herein and promulgated pursuant to this chapter are minimum standards; therefore, this chapter does not intend nor imply that compliance by any person will ensure that there will be no contamination, pollution, nor unauthorized discharge of pollutants.
Prohibition of illegal discharges. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the municipal storm drain system or watercourses any materials, including, but not limited to, pollutants or waters containing any pollutants that cause or contribute to a violation of applicable water quality standards, other than stormwater. The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the storm drain system is prohibited, except as described as follows:
The following discharges are exempt from discharge prohibitions established by this chapter: waterline flushing or other potable water sources, landscape irrigation or lawn watering, diverted stream flows, rising groundwater, groundwater infiltration to storm drains, uncontaminated pumped groundwater, foundation or footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, air-conditioning condensation, springs, noncommercial washing of vehicles, natural riparian habitat or wetland flows, swimming pools (if dechlorinated, typically less than one PPM chlorine), firefighting activities, and any other water source not containing pollutants.
Discharges specified in writing by the authorized enforcement agency as being necessary to protect public health and safety.
Dye testing is an allowable discharge but requires a verbal notification to the authorized enforcement agency prior to the time of the test.
The prohibition shall not apply to any nonstormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, and provided that written approval has been granted for any discharge to the storm drain system.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the storm drain system 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 chapter if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the MS4 or allows such a connection to continue.
Suspension due to illicit discharges in emergency situations. The Department of Public Works 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, or to the health or welfare of persons, or to the MS4 or waters of the United States. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the authorized enforcement agency may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4 or waters of the United States, or to minimize danger to persons.
Suspension due to the detection of illicit discharges. Any person discharging to the MS4 in violation of this chapter may have their MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The authorized enforcement agency will notify a violator of the proposed termination of its MS4 access. The violator may petition the authorized enforcement agency for a reconsideration and hearing.
A person commits an offense if the person reinstates MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section without the prior approval of the authorized enforcement agency.
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity NPDES stormwater discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of such permit. Proof of compliance with said permit may be required in a form acceptable to the Department of Public Works prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
This section applies to all facilities that have stormwater discharges to the municipal stormwater system, including industrial, commercial, and construction activities.
Access to facilities.
The Department of Public Works shall be permitted to enter and inspect facilities subject to regulation under this chapter as often as may be necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. 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 representatives of the authorized enforcement agency.
Facility operators shall allow the Department of Public Works ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, examination and copying of records that must be kept under the conditions of an NPDES permit to discharge stormwater, and the performance of any additional duties as defined by state and federal law.
The Department of Public Works shall have the right to set up on any permitted facility such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the authorized enforcement agency to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the facility's stormwater discharge.
The Department of Public Works has the right to require the discharger to install monitoring equipment as necessary. 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.
Any temporary or permanent obstruction to safe and easy access to the facility to be inspected and/or sampled shall be promptly removed by the operator at the written or oral request of the Department of Public Works and shall not be replaced. The costs of clearing such access shall be borne by the operator.
Unreasonable delays in allowing the Department of Public Works access to a permitted facility is a violation of a stormwater discharge permit and of this chapter. A person who is the operator of a facility with an NPDES permit to discharge stormwater associated with industrial activity commits an offense if the person denies the authorized enforcement agency reasonable access to the permitted facility for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this chapter.
If the Department of Public Works has been refused access to any part of the premises from which stormwater is discharged, and it is able to demonstrate probable cause to believe that there may be a violation of this chapter, 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 chapter or any order issued hereunder, or to protect the overall public health, safety, and welfare of the community, then the authorized enforcement agency may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Department of Public Works will adopt requirements identifying best management practices for any activity, operation, or facility which may cause or contribute to pollution or contamination of stormwater, the storm drain system, or waters of the United States. The owner or operator of a residential, commercial or industrial (or under construction) establishment shall provide, at their own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the municipal storm drain system or watercourses through the use of these structural and nonstructural BMPs. Further, any person responsible for a property or premises which is, or may be, the source of an illicit discharge may be required to implement, at said person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to prevent the further discharge of pollutants to the municipal separate storm sewer system.
Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid NPDES permit authorizing the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed compliance with the provisions of this section. These BMPs shall be part of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPP) as necessary for compliance with requirements of the NPDES permit.
Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes, or such person's lessee, shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, excessive vegetation, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse, so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse.
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 stormwater, the storm drain system, or water of the United States, said 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, said person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, said person shall notify the authorized enforcement agency in person or by phone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by phone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the Department of Public Works within three business days of the phone 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.
Notice of violation.
Whenever the Department of Public Works finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this chapter, the authorized enforcement agency may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person. Such notice may require, without limitation:
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
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;
Payment of a fine to cover administrative and remediation costs; 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. Said 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 thereof shall be charged to the violator.
The fines shall not exceed the maximum permitted under state law, and the amount shall be determined in accordance with this subsection B.
Fine schedule. The fine for violations involving more than one activity shall be equal to the sum of the fines for each applicable activity class.
Third and subsequent violations
Any fine collected by the City of West Haven pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the City of West Haven's general fund account.
Issuance of citations.
An authorized enforcement agent may issue a citation to any person who commits a violation or a continuing violation of this chapter. Any such citation may be issued either by hand delivery or by certified mail to the person named in such citation. In such instances, each citation shall apply jointly and severally to the owner of the property in question and his/her agencies, contractors and subcontractors. An original or certified copy of the initial citation issued by the issuing official shall be filed and retained by the City of West Haven and shall be deemed to be a business record within the scope of § 52-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and evidence of the facts contained therein. In addition, a copy of the initial citation shall be reported to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection pursuant to § 22a-31-14 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
The citation shall inform such person:
Of the allegation against him or her for which the citation is issued pursuant to this section and the amount of the fines, penalties and costs, as fees due;
That the person has a period of 30 days from the date of the citation (i.e., the date of hand delivery or the date the citation was mailed) to make an uncontested payment of the fines;
Payment may be made by cash, credit card, check or money order made payable to the City of West Haven and submitted in person or mailed to the City of West Haven Finance Department, 355 Main Street, West Haven, CT 06516.
The citation notice shall also inform the person cited that he/she may contest his liability before a citation hearing officer by delivering in person or by mail written notice within 10 days of the date thereof. The notice shall also inform the person that if he/she does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against him/her and that such judgment may issue without further notice.
Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense. In the case of the continuing violation, at the discretion of the Regulatory Compliance and Administrative Officer and with the prior consent of the Director of Operation, daily citations may be issued commencing two calendar days from receipt of the notice of violation.
Admission of liability by payment of fine. If any person who is sent notice pursuant to this section wishes to admit to liability for any alleged violation, he/she may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees admitted to. Payment may be made by cash, credit card, check or money order made payable to the City of West Haven and submitted in person or mailed to the City of West Haven Finance Department, 355 Main Street, West Haven, CT 06516.
Hearing on notice of violation.
Any person may demand a hearing on any notice of violation and/or any fine by delivering a written request for the same to the Regulatory Compliance and Administrative Officer within 10 calendar days of the date of the first notice provided for in this section. Any person who does not deliver such written request shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the Regulatory Compliance and Administrative Officer shall certify such person's failure to respond to the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall thereupon enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees provided for by this section and shall follow the procedures set forth in the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, C.G.S. §§ 4-166 through 4-189.
Any person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice by certified mail of the date, time and place for the hearing. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 calendar days nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice, provided that the hearing officer shall grant upon good cause shown a postponement or continuance for any reasonable request by any interested party. Once a hearing has been requested, no additional citation shall be issued.
The presence of the issuing official shall be required at the hearing if such person so requests. A person wishing to contest his/her liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence in his/her behalf.
If the person who demanded a hearing fails to appear, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against him/her upon finding of proper notice and liability under this section.
A designated municipal official other than the hearing officer may present evidence on behalf of the municipality.
The hearing officer may accept from the designated municipal official copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports and other official documents, by mail, and may determine thereby that the appearance of the municipal official not necessary.
The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as he/she deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation.
The hearing officer shall announce his/her decision at the end of the hearing.
If the hearing officer determines that the person is not liable, he/she shall dismiss the matter and enter his/her determination, in writing, accordingly.
If the hearing officer determines that a violation has occurred and that the person is liable for the violation, he/she shall then enter the fines, penalties, cost or fees against such person as provided by this section, in writing, with a copy to the violator.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of entry, the hearing officer shall send by first-class mail a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Small Claims Session in Ansonia/Milford, together with the required entry fee. The certified copy of the notice of assessment against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record assessment. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed on record of assessment. The Clerk of the Court shall enter a judgment, in the amount of the assessment plus court costs, against such person in favor of the City of West Haven. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment, and a levy of execution on such judgment may be issued without further notice to such person.
A person against whom a determination of violation and/or an assessment has been entered is entitled to judicial review by way of appeal. An appeal shall be instituted within 30 days of the mailed notice of violation and/or notice of assessment by filing a petition to reopen a determination of a violation and/or assessment, together with the required entry fee pursuant to § 52-259 of the Connecticut General Statutes, in the Superior Court, which shall entitle such person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the Superior Court.
If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to the requirements set forth in the notice of violation or, in the event of an appeal, within 15 days of the decision of the municipal authority upholding the decision of the authorized enforcement agency, then representatives of the authorized enforcement agency shall enter upon the subject private property and are authorized to take any and all measures necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property. It shall be unlawful for any person, owner, agent or person in possession of any premises to refuse to allow the authorized enforcement agency or designated contractor to enter upon the premises for the purposes set forth above.
Within 30 days after abatement of the violation, the owner of the property will be notified of the cost of abatement, including administrative costs. The property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount of the assessment within 15 days. If the amount due is not paid within a timely manner as determined by the decision of the municipal authority or by the expiration of the time in which to file an appeal, the charges shall become a special assessment against the property and shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of the assessment. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall become liable to the municipality by reason of such violation. The liability shall be paid in not more than 12 equal payments. Interest at the rate of 8% per annum shall be assessed on the balance beginning on the first day following discovery of the violation.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter. If a person has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this chapter, the authorized enforcement agency may petition for a preliminary or permanent injunction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
In lieu of enforcement proceedings, penalties, and remedies authorized by this chapter, the authorized enforcement agency may impose upon a violator alternative compensatory actions, such as public education activities, a mitigation project, outreach measures, attendance at compliance workshops, environmental restoration activities, etc.
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 chapter is a threat to public health, safety, and welfare, and is declared and deemed a 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 chapter 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.
This chapter shall be in full force and effect upon the Mayor's signature after its final passage and adoption. All prior ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict with this chapter are hereby repealed.