All violations of pretreatment standards and requirements and the requirements found in §§ 96-46, 96-49, 96-52, 96-53, 96-54 and 96-55 hereof are instances of noncompliance and will receive a specific enforcement response in accordance with the THTMA Control Authority Enforcement Response Plan and applicable law. Pretreatment standards and requirements are a matter of strict liability. Hence, good faith or lack of negligence on the user's part is no defense to a violation of pretreatment standards and/or requirements. The enforcement responses shall range from notices of violation to formal civil litigation and/or termination of service, depending upon the severity of the violation. While similar violations will receive similar enforcement responses from THTMA regardless of the municipality wherein they occur, some inherent discretion exists within each enforcement response selection. For example, some violations will trigger either an administrative action, formal civil litigation or permit revocation. Selection of the specific enforcement response option shall be at the sole discretion of Unity Township (or its designee) or THTMA.
When making determinations regarding the level of enforcement, Unity Township or THTMA shall take into consideration the following:
Damage to air, water, land or other natural resources and their uses.
Costs of restoration and abatement.
Savings to the user as a result of the violation.
History of past violations by the user.
Deterrence of future violations.
Other relevant factors as determined by the control authority.
Unity Township or THTMA may suspend the wastewater treatment service and/or a pretreatment permit when such suspension is necessary, in the opinion of THTMA, in order to stop an actual or threatened discharge which presents or may present an imminent or substantial endangerment to the health or welfare of persons or to the environment, causes pass-through or interference to the POTW or causes THTMA to violate any condition of its NPDES permit or any other federal or state permit or regulation.
Any person notified of a suspension of the wastewater treatment service and/or pretreatment permit shall immediately stop or eliminate the discharge. In the event of a failure of the person to comply voluntarily with the suspension order, THTMA shall take such steps as deemed necessary, including immediate severance of the sewer connection, to prevent or minimize damage to the POTW system or endangerment to any individuals or the environment. THTMA shall reinstate the pretreatment permit and/or the wastewater treatment service upon proof of the elimination of the noncomplying discharge. A detailed written statement submitted by the user describing the causes of the harmful contribution and the measures taken to prevent any future occurrence shall be submitted to THTMA within five days of the date of occurrence.
For violations not requiring Unity Township or THTMA to invoke its emergency authority, the following procedures shall apply:
Notice of violation. Whenever Unity Township or THTMA finds that a user has violated or is violating this Part 3, pretreatment permit or any prohibition, limitation or requirements contained herein, Unity Township or THTMA shall serve upon such person a written notice stating the nature of the violation(s), which may include the assessment of a civil penalty, and require a written response from the user. As required by the Publicly Owned Treatment Works Penalty Law, such notice shall include the name, address and telephone number of the control authority manager or other person responsible for accepting appeals. Within 30 days of the date of the notice of violation, a plan for the satisfactory correction thereof shall be submitted to Unity Township and THTMA by the user.
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 752.1 et seq.
Compliance schedule. When Unity Township or THTMA finds that a user is in violation of this Part 3, pretreatment permit or requirements contained herein, Unity Township or THTMA may require the user to submit or may itself issue a schedule of compliance for the necessary correction.
The schedule shall contain increments of progress in the form of dates for the commencement and completion of major events leading to the construction and operation of additional pretreatment required for the user to meet the pretreatment permit requirements (e.g., hiring an engineer, completing preliminary plans, completing final plans, executing contract for major components, commencing construction, completing construction, etc.).
Not later than 14 days following each date in the compliance schedule and the final date for compliance, the user shall submit a progress report of Unity Township and THTMA, including, as a minimum, whether or not it complied with the increment of progress to be met on such date and, if not, the date on which it expects to comply with this increment of progress, the reason for delay, construction to the schedule established. In no event shall more than nine months elapse between such progress reports to Unity Township and to THTMA.
Consent order. Unity Township or the Manager of THTMA is hereby empowered to enter into consent orders, assurances of voluntary compliance or other similar documents establishing an agreement with the user responsible for the noncompliance. Such consent orders shall include a specific action to be taken by the user to correct the noncompliance within a time period also specified in the consent order. Consent orders shall have the same force and effect as administrative orders issued pursuant to this section.
Compliance order. When Unity Township or the Manager of THTMA finds that a user has violated or continues to violate this Part 3, pretreatment permit or order issued thereunder, Unity Township or the Manager of THTMA may issue an order to the user responsible for the discharge directing that, following a specified time period, sewer service shall be discontinued unless adequate treatment facilities, devices or other related appurtenances have been installed and are properly operated. 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.
Show cause order.
Unity Township or THTMA may order any user who causes or allows a discharge of sewage, industrial waste or other waste into the POTW in violation of the provisions, requirements or pretreatment standards of this Part 3 or the rules and regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection or the Environmental Protection Agency to show cause before THTMA why the proposed assessment of penalty and/or enforcement action should not be taken. A notice shall be served upon the user specifying the time and place of a hearing to be held by THTMA regarding the alleged violation, setting forth the specific facts and circumstances upon which the proposed enforcement action is to be taken and directing the user to show cause before THTMA as to why the proposed assessment of penalty and/or enforcement actions should not be taken.
The notice of the hearing shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) upon the user, not less than 20 days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall contain the name, address and telephone number of the control authority manager or other person responsible for accepting appeals. Within 15 days from the date of service of the notice, the user shall file with the Manager of THTMA a verified answer responding to the allegations in the notice. Allegations in the notice which are not specifically denied shall be deemed to have been admitted. Failure to file an answer or to specifically deny the allegations of the notice shall constitute a sufficient basis for the entry of a default adjudication upon expiration of said 15 days.
THTMA may itself conduct the hearing and take the evidence or may designate any of its members or any officer or the Manager to:
Issue in the name of THTMA notices of hearings requesting the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence relevant to any matter involved in such hearings.
Take the evidence.
Transmit a report of the evidence and hearing, including transcripts and other evidence, together with recommendations to THTMA for action thereon.
At any hearing held pursuant to this Part 3, testimony taken must be under oath and recorded stenographically. The transcript so recorded will be made available to any member of the public of any party to the hearing upon payment of the usual charges thereof.
After the Board of Supervisors and THTMA has reviewed the evidence, it may issue an order to the user responsible for the discharge directing that, following a specified time period, the sewer service be discontinued unless adequate treatment facilities, devices or other related appurtenances shall have been installed on existing treatment facilities, devices or other related appurtenances are properly operated. Further orders and directives as are necessary and appropriate may be issued, including but not limited to injunctive relief and civil penalties.
Cease and desist order. Whenever Unity Township or THTMA finds that a user has violated or is violating this Part 3, pretreatment permit or any prohibition, limitation or requirements contained herein, Unity Township or THTMA shall issue an order to cease and desist all such violations and direct those persons in noncompliance to:
Take such appropriate remedial or preventative action as may be needed to properly address a continuing or threatened violation, including halting operations and terminating the discharge. As required by the Publicly Owned Treatment Works Penalty Law, such notice shall include the name, address and telephone number of the control authority manager or other person responsible for accepting appeals. Noncompliance with a cease and desist order shall be cause for THTMA or Unity Township to act pursuant to §§ 96-72, 96-74 or Article X hereof.
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 752.1 et seq.
If any person discharges sewage, industrial waste or other wastes into the wastewater disposal system of THTMA in violation of the provisions, requirements or pretreatment standards of this Part 3, the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or the Environmental Protection Agency which presents an imminent danger or substantial harm to the POTW or the public, an imminent or substantial endangerment to the environment, causes the POTW to violate any condition of its NPDES permit or has shown a lack of ability or intention to comply with said pretreatment provisions, requirements or standards, any other order of THTMA or Unity Township or its other enforcement procedures would not be adequate to effect prompt correction of the condition or violations, THTMA or Unity Township may institute an action to obtain injunctive relief in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, where the activity has taken place, where the condition exists or where the public is affected.
Any person who knowingly makes any false statements, representations or certification in any application, record, report, plan or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this Part 3 or pretreatment permit or who falsifies, tampers with or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required under this Part 3 will be prosecuted to the extent permitted by law under the Crimes Code, 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
Any user who violates the following conditions of this Part 3 or applicable state and federal regulations is subject to having its pretreatment permit revoked:
Failure of a user to factually report the wastewater constituents and characteristics of its discharge;
Failure of the user to report significant changes in operations or wastewater constituents and characteristics;
Refusal of reasonable access to the user's premises for the purpose of inspection and/or monitoring; or
Violation of conditions of the pretreatment permit.
If the pretreatment permit is revoked, the control authority may take steps it deems advisable, including severance of the sewer connection, to promote compliance with this Part 3.
The user shall have such right of appeal to the Court of Common Pleas having jurisdiction as is provided for under Section 7(b) of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works Penalty Law, the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S.A. § 101 et seq. or the Judicial Code, 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 762.