[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Schenectady as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-14-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
It is hereby determined that:
Uncontrolled drainage and runoff associated with land development has a significant impact upon the health, safety and welfare of the community.
Eroded soil endangers water resources by reducing water quality and causing the silting of streams, lakes and other water bodies adversely affecting aquatic life.
Stormwater runoff and sediment transports pollutants such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, nutrients and bacteria to water resources, degrading water quality.
Eroded soil necessitates repair and accelerates the maintenance needs of stormwater management facilities.
Clearing, grading and altering natural topography during construction tends to increase erosion.
Improper design and construction of drainage facilities can increase the velocity of runoff, thereby increasing stream bank erosion and sedimentation.
Impervious surfaces increase the volume and rate of stormwater runoff and allow less water to percolate into the soil, thereby decreasing groundwater recharge and stream baseflow.
Improperly managed stormwater runoff can increase the incidence of flooding and the severity of floods that occur, endangering property and human life.
Substantial economic losses can result from these adverse impacts.
Stormwater runoff, soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution can be controlled and minimized through the regulation of land development activities.
The purpose of this article is to safeguard persons, protect property, and prevent damage to the environment in the City of Schenectady, New York. This article will also promote the public welfare by guiding, regulating, and controlling the design, construction, use, and maintenance of any land development activity as it relates to erosion and sedimentation control and stormwater management. This article seeks to meet these purposes by achieving the following objectives:
Meet the requirements of minimum control measures four (construction site stormwater runoff control) and five (post-construction stormwater management) of the State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4s), Permit GP-02-02, or as amended or revised.
Require land development activities to conform to the substantive requirements of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (SPDES) General Permit for Construction Activities GP-02-01, or as amended or revised.
Minimize soil erosion and sedimentation impacts on streams, water bodies, and neighboring properties.
Avoid excessive and/or unnecessary tree and vegetation removal.
Minimize windblown soil associated with properties being cleared and graded for development.
Maintain the integrity of watercourses and sustain their hydrologic functions.
Minimize increases in the magnitude and frequency of stormwater runoff to prevent an increase in flood flows and the hazards and costs associated with flooding.
Minimize decreases in groundwater recharge and stream baseflow to maintain aquatic life, assimilative capacity, and water supplies.
Facilitate the removal of pollutants in stormwater runoff to perpetuate the natural biological function of water bodies.
In accordance with § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, the governing Board of the City of Schenectady has the authority to enact local laws and amend local laws for the purpose of promoting the health, safety or general welfare of the City of Schenectady and for the protection and enhancement of its physical environment.
Except as otherwise provided herein, no person shall commence or perform any land development activity as defined in § 148-5 herein without the review and approval of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) by the responsible board and/or the Stormwater Management Officer.
Applicants shall also obtain all other permits required by state, federal, and local laws. Whenever the particular circumstances of proposed land development activity require compliance with special use, site plan, or subdivision procedures of the City of Schenectady, the responsible board shall integrate the requirements prescribed herein as appropriate and determine the adequacy of the SWPPP.
Redevelopment projects as defined herein provide an opportunity to reduce pollutant discharges and the rate, the amount as well as the quality of stormwater runoff leaving the redevelopment site. However, the nature of the site, particularly in an urban location, may impose constraints that prevent implementation of full post-construction compliance. Chapter 9 of the "New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual" sets forth the standards for compliance with water quantity and quality standards and specifications.
Consideration shall be given to using alternative stormwater management practices such as rain gardens, pervious pavers, green roofs and other low-impact development techniques to reduce stormwater impacts.
No SWPPP is required for the following exempt activities:
Any emergency activity that is immediately necessary for the protection of life, property, or natural resources.
Agricultural operations conducted as a permitted principal or accessory use, including the construction of structures where the land disturbance is less than one acre.
Routine maintenance activities that are performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of a stormwater management facility. This includes roadway drainage ditch maintenance (although erosion and sedimentation impacting waters of the United States is still a violation under the Clean Water Act).
Mining as defined herein.
The renovation/replacement of a septic system serving an existing dwelling or structure.
Normal lawn and landscaping activities/maintenance.
Activities of an individual engaging in home gardening by growing flowers, vegetables and other plants primarily for use by that person and his or her family.
Silviculture activities, i.e., the harvest of timber in accordance with a forest-management plan prepared by a forest-management professional. Activities include selective cutting of timber, delimbing and trimming, felling, skidding, log haul road construction and maintenance, loading, stacking and temporary storage prior to transport from the site. (Note: one-time clear-cutting or the nonrecurring practice of timber harvesting is not considered an exempt activity.)
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The use of land for sound agricultural purposes, including farming, dairy, horse boarding, pasturing, grazing, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, timber harvesting, animal and poultry husbandry, and those practices necessary for the on-farm production, preparation, and marketing of agricultural commodities.
- CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL (CPESC)
- A person who has received training and is certified by CPESC Inc., to review, inspect and/or maintain erosion and sediment control practices.
- Any activity that removes the vegetative surface cover.
- COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION
- The initial disturbance of soils associated with clearing, grading, or excavating activities, or other construction activities.
- The wearing away of the land surface by action of wind, water, gravity, or other natural forces.
- EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN
- A set of plans prepared by or under the direction of a licensed/certified professional indicating the specific measures and sequencing to be used to control sediment and erosion on a development site during and after construction.
- Excavation of fill, rock, gravel, sand, soil or other natural material, including the resulting conditions therefrom.
- LAND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY
- Construction activity including clearing, grading, excavating, soil disturbance, placement of fill, or redevelopment resulting in land disturbance of equal to or greater than one acre. Also includes activities disturbing less than one acre of total land area that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, even though multiple separate and distinct land development activities may take place at different times on different schedules.
- LICENSED/CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL
- A person currently licensed to practice engineering or landscape architecture in New York State or is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC).
- Any excavation subject to permitting requirements of the State Department of Environmental Conservation under the Mined Land Reclamation Law (Environmental Conservation Law, Article 23, Title 27).
- NOTICE OF INTENT (NOI)
- A permit application prepared and filed by an owner or operator with the Department of Environmental Conservation as an affirmation that a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) has been prepared and will be implemented in compliance with the State Pollution Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Runoff for Constriction Activity (GP-02-01).
- The person, persons, or legal entity which owns or leases the property on which the construction activity is occurring.
- PERIMETER CONTROL
- A barrier that prevents sediment from leaving a site by filtering sediment-laden runoff or diverting it to a sediment trap or basin.
- Clearing a parcel of land in distinct phases, with the stabilization of each phase completed before the clearing of the next.
- PROJECT (MAJOR)
- Any land development activity that disturbs one acre or more, including all commercial, industrial, or mixed use development, as well as any residential development consisting of buildings that contain two or more dwelling units, or any land development activity not classified as a minor project. (The operator of a major project must submit a SWPPP that addresses water quality and quantity controls in addition to erosion and sedimentation controls.)
- PROJECT (MINOR)
- Any land development activity associated with a permitted agricultural use or single family residential construction/subdivision that disturbs between one and five acres and is not discharging stormwater directly to a water body listed on New York State 2002 Section 303(d) list of impaired water bodies.
- The reconstruction or modification to any existing, previously developed land such as residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, or road or highway which involves soil disturbance.
- Solid material, both mineral and organic, which is in suspension, is being transported, has been deposited, or has been removed from its site of origin.
- A parcel of land or a contiguous combination thereof, where grading work is performed as a single unified operation.
- SITE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT
- A permit issued by the municipality for the construction or alteration of ground improvements and structures for the control of erosion, runoff, and grading.
- SLOPES (SEVERE)
- Ground areas with a slope greater than 25% covering a minimum horizontal area of 1/4 acre or 10,890 square feet and a minimum horizontal dimension of 10 feet.
- SLOPES (STEEP)
- Ground areas with a slope greater than 15% covering a minimum horizontal area of 1/4 acre or 10,890 square feet and a minimum horizontal dimension of 10 feet.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FACILITY
- One or a series of stormwater management practices installed, stabilized and operating for the purpose of controlling stormwater runoff.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER
- An employee or officer designated by the municipality to accept and coordinate the review of stormwater pollution prevention plans and inspect stormwater management practices.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (SMPs)
- Measures, either structural or nonstructural, that are determined to be the most effective, practical means of preventing flood damage and preventing or reducing point source or nonpoint source pollution inputs to stormwater runoff and water bodies.
- Covering or maintaining an existing cover over soil. Cover can be vegetative (e.g., grass, trees, seed and mulch, shrubs, or turf) or non-vegetative (e.g., geotextiles, riprap, or gabions).
- STABILIZATION (FINAL)
- All soil disturbing activities at the site have been completed, and a uniform perennial vegetative cover with a density of 80% has been established or equivalent stabilization measures (such as the use of mulches or geotextiles) have been employed on all unpaved areas and areas not covered by permanent structures.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- The first land-disturbing activity associated with a development, including land preparation such as clearing, grading, and filling.
- Any body of water, including but not limited to lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and intermittent streams.
- WATERCOURSE BUFFER
- A horizontal distance 50 feet away from and parallel to the high water level of a watercourse.
- Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency or duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include those areas determined to be wetlands by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
No application for land development activity that will disturb one or more acres shall be approved until the responsible board, municipal official and/or department has received, reviewed and determined a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) has been prepared in accordance with the specifications contained herein.
Review of SWPPP by Stormwater Management Officer. For land development activity not subject to special permit, site plan, or subdivision requirements, the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer, or designated agent, shall review the SWPPP to determine its completeness and conformance with the provisions herein. Within 30 days (60 business days if the SWPPP identifies practices or designs that deviate from the proscribed standards established by § 148-11 of this article) of receipt of a SWPPP the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer, shall make a determination as to whether it is complete. If it is deemed incomplete, the applicant shall be notified in writing as to the deficiencies in the plan and the requirements for completeness. Within 30 days after receiving a complete plan, the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer, shall, in writing:
Approve the permit application;
Approve the permit application subject to such reasonable conditions as may be necessary to secure substantially the objectives of this regulation, and issue the permit subject to these conditions; or
Disapprove the permit application, indicating the reason(s) and procedure for submitting a revised application and/or submission;
Failure of the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer to act on a complete original or revised application within 30 days of receipt shall authorize the applicant to proceed in accordance with the plans as filed unless such time is extended by agreement between the applicant and the City of Schenectady. Pending preparation and approval of a revised plan, land development activities shall not be allowed to proceed. Nothing herein shall relieve an applicant's need to obtain a building permit as required by City of Schenectady Code or file an NOI with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
For land development activity subject to special permit, site plan, or subdivision requirements, the responsible board shall incorporate the required SWPPP into the review process, allowing for public review and comment on the SWPPP. The responsible board, in consultation with the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer, or designated agent, shall determine that the SWPPP has been prepared in accordance with the specifications contained herein. For projects subject to subdivision requirements, preliminary plat approval shall not be granted until the Planning Board has received a SWPPP prepared in accordance with the specifications contained herein.
In its review of the plan, the responsible board or municipal official may consult with the City of Schenectady Engineer, the Schenectady County Soil and Water Conservation District, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or retain any other licensed/certified professionals qualified in the review and/or design of stormwater management and erosion control plans as are determined to be necessary to carry out the review of an SWPPP. Payment for the services of such professionals shall comply with § 148-17 herein.
All designs and procedures to prevent stormwater pollution as set forth within the SWPPP shall be designed in compliance with the "New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control" and the "New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual" as stipulated in § 148-11 of this article. The SWPPP shall include the following:
A written narrative identifying the project's scope including the location, type, and size of the project.
A site map/construction drawing(s) for the project, including a general location map. At a minimum, the site map should show the total site area; all improvements; areas of disturbance including all lawn and yard areas; areas that will not be disturbed; locations of off-site material, waste, borrow or equipment storage areas; and location(s) of stormwater discharge(s). The specific location(s), size(s), and length(s) of each erosion and sediment control practice shall also be shown. Site maps/construction drawings shall be at a scale no smaller than one inch equals 100 feet.
A natural resources map identifying existing vegetation; on-site and adjacent off-site surface water(s), wetlands, and drainage patterns that could be affected by the construction activity; and existing and final slopes.
A description of soil(s) present at the site along with any existing data that describes the stormwater runoff characteristics at the site.
A construction phasing plan describing the intended sequence of construction activities, including clearing and grubbing; excavation and grading; utility and infrastructure installation, and any other activity at the site that results in soil disturbance. Phasing shall identify the expected date on which clearing will begin, the estimated duration of exposure of cleared areas, areas of clearing, installation of temporary erosion and sediment control measures, and establishment of permanent vegetation. Consistent with the "New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control," there shall not be more than five acres of disturbed soil at any one time without prior written approval from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
A description of the pollution-prevention measures that will be used to control litter, construction chemicals and construction debris from becoming a pollutant source in the stormwater discharges.
A description of construction and waste materials expected to be stored on-site with updates as appropriate, and a description of controls to reduce pollutants from these materials, including storage practices to minimize exposure of the materials to stormwater, and spill prevention and response.
A description of the temporary and permanent structural and vegetative measures to be used for soil stabilization, runoff control and sediment control for each stage of the project from initial land clearing and grubbing to project close-out. Depending upon the complexity of the project, the drafting of intermediate plans may be required at the close of each season.
The dimensions, material specifications (e.g., seeding mixtures and rates, types of sod, kind and quantity of mulching) and installation details for all erosion and sediment control practices, including the siting and sizing of any temporary sediment basins. Temporary practices that will be converted to permanent control measures shall be shown.
An implementation schedule for staging temporary erosion and sediment control practices, including the timing of initial placement and the duration that each practice should remain in place.
A maintenance schedule to ensure continuous and effective operation of the erosion and sediment control practices, including estimates of the cost of maintenance.
Identification of the person or entities responsible for implementation of the SWPPP for each part of the site.
A description of structural practices to divert flows from exposed soils, store flows, or otherwise limit runoff and the discharge of pollutants from exposed areas of the site to the degree attainable.
Names(s) of the watercourse(s) to which the stormwater flows.
For major projects, the following shall also be provided:
A site map/construction drawing(s) of each post-construction stormwater practice including a description of each post-construction stormwater control practice including, specific location(s) and size(s), dimensions, material specifications and installation details. The "New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual" shall serve as the technical design standard.
A hydrologic and hydraulic analysis for all structural components of the stormwater control system for the applicable design storms.
A comparison of post-development stormwater runoff conditions with predevelopment conditions.
A maintenance schedule to ensure continuous and effective operation of each post-construction stormwater control practice.
The SWPPP shall be prepared by a licensed/certified professional. The SWPPP must be signed by the professional preparing the plan and shall make the following certification:
The SWPPP must clearly identify the contractor(s) and subcontractor(s) that will implement each stormwater and erosion control measure. All contractors and subcontractors identified in the SWPPP shall sign a copy of the following certification statement before undertaking any land development activity:
The permittee shall amend the SWPPP whenever there is a significant change in design, construction, operation, or maintenance which may have a significant effect on the potential for the discharge of pollutants to the waters of the United States and which has not otherwise been addressed in the SWPPP; or
Additionally, the SWPPP shall be amended to identify any new contractor or subcontractor that will implement any measure of the SWPPP.
All land development activities shall be subject to the following design and performance standards:
For the purpose of this article, the following documents shall serve as the official guides and standards for stormwater management. Stormwater management practices in accordance with these technical documents shall be presumed to meet the standards imposed by this article.
Land development activities as defined herein, including grading, erosion, and sediment control practices, and waterway crossings shall meet the design criteria set forth in the most recent version of the "New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control" published by the Empire State Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. For the design of post-construction stormwater management practices, the technical standards are currently detailed in the publication "New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual” published by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Equivalence to technical standards. Where stormwater management practices are not in accordance with above design and technical standards, the applicant or developer must demonstrate equivalence to the design and technical standards set forth in this section and the equivalence shall be documented and certified by a licensed/certified professional as part of the SWPPP.
Cut and fill slopes shall be no greater than 2:1, except where retaining walls, structural stabilization or other methods acceptable to the City of Schenectady designated licensed/certified professional are used. Disturbed areas shall be restored as natural appearing landforms, and shall blend in with the terrain of adjacent undisturbed land. Abrupt, angular transitions shall be avoided.
Clearing and grading shall be substantially confined to designated building envelopes, utility easements, driveways, and parking footprint. Clearing and grading techniques that retain natural vegetation and drainage patterns, as described in the most recent version of "Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control" referenced above shall be used to the satisfaction of the responsible board. No clearing or grading shall take place within the established fifty-foot watercourse buffer area except to provide road crossings where permitted.
Clearing, except that necessary to establish sediment control devices, shall not begin until all sediment control devices have been installed and have been stabilized.
Phasing shall be required on all sites disturbing greater than 30 acres, with the size of each phase to be established at plan review and as approved by the responsible board. There shall not be more than five acres of disturbed soil at any one time without prior written approval from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
The permittee shall initiate stabilization measures as soon as practicable in portions of the site where construction activities have temporarily or permanently ceased, but in no case more than 14 days after the construction activity in that portion of the site has temporarily or permanently ceased. This requirement does not apply in the following instances:
Where the initiation of stabilization measures by the 14th day after construction activity temporarily or permanently ceased is precluded by snow cover or frozen ground conditions, stabilization measures shall be initiated as soon as practicable;
Where construction activity on a portion of the site is temporarily ceased, and earth-disturbing activities will be resumed within 21 days, temporary stabilization measures need not be initiated on that portion of the site.
The mere parking and moving of construction vehicles around the site does not constitute construction or earth-disturbing activity. If the permittee is not diligently pursuing the project toward completion as determined by the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer or designated agent, the Stormwater Management Officer may issue a notice of violation (see § 148-18A) and stipulate that the stabilization measures as outlined above shall be undertaken to prevent site erosion.
If seeding or another vegetative erosion control method is used, it shall become established within 14 days or the applicant may be required to re-seed the site or use a nonvegetative option.
Special techniques that meet the design criteria outlined in the most recent version of "Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control" shall be used to ensure stabilization on steep slopes or in drainageways.
Soil stockpiles must be stabilized or covered at the end of each workday.
The entire site must be stabilized using a heavy mulch layer or another method that does not require germination to control erosion at the close of the construction season.
Techniques shall be employed to prevent the blowing of dust or sediment from the site.
Techniques that divert upland runoff past disturbed slopes shall be employed.
Adjacent properties shall be protected by the use of a vegetated buffer strip in combination with perimeter controls.
In general, wetlands and watercourses should not be filled, graded or altered. The crossing of watercourses should be avoided to the maximum extent practicable. When protection of wetlands, watercourses, trees, steep slopes or other environmentally sensitive area is required, the location shall be shown on the erosion control plan and the method of protection during construction identified (e.g., silt fence, construction fence, stakes, etc.). A vegetative buffer (twenty-five-foot minimum) shall be maintained between disturbed areas and protected federal wetlands that are not proposed to be filled as part of an Army Corps of Engineers wetlands permit. In the case of state designated wetlands, the adjacent area of 100 feet shall not be disturbed without a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation permit.
Stabilization shall be adequate to prevent erosion located at the outlets of all pipes and paved/riprap channels.
Sediment shall be removed from sediment traps or sediment ponds whenever their design capacity has been reduced by 50%.
Development should relate to site conditions and disturbance of steep slopes should be avoided. Grading should be minimized by utilizing existing topography whenever possible. Roads and driveways shall follow the natural topography to the greatest extent possible.
In areas of severe slopes (exceeding 25%), land-disturbing activities are not permitted. A twenty-five-foot buffer must be maintained between any disturbed area and the top of slopes 25% and greater.
Any land development activity shall not result in:
An increase in turbidity that will cause a substantial visible contrast to natural conditions;
An increase in suspended, colloidal and settleable solids that will cause deposition or impair the waters for their best uses; or
Residue from oil and floating substances, nor visible oil film, or globules of grease.
Stormwater Management Officer inspections.
The City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer or designated agent may require such inspections as necessary to determine compliance with this article and may either approve that portion of the work completed or notify the applicant wherein the work fails to comply with the requirements of this article and the SWPPP as approved. To obtain inspections, the applicant shall notify the Stormwater Management Officer or designated agent at least 48 hours before the following as required by the SWPPP:
Start of construction and initial installation of sediment and erosion controls;
Installation of sediment and erosion measures as site clearing and grading progresses;
Completion of site clearing;
Completion of rough grading;
Completion of final grading;
Close of the seasonal land development activity;
Completion of final landscaping.
If any violations are found, the applicant and developer shall be notified in writing of the nature of the violation and the required corrective actions. Corrective actions may include the repair/restoration of off-site impacts. Depending upon the severity of the violation, in certain circumstances, no further work shall be conducted except for site stabilization until any violations are corrected and all work previously completed has received approval by the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer, or designated agent.
The operator shall have a licensed/certified professional conduct an assessment of the site prior to the commencement of construction and certify in an inspection report that the appropriate erosion and sediment controls described in the SWPPP have been adequately installed or implemented to ensure overall preparedness of the site. Following the commencement of construction, site inspections shall be conducted by a licensed/certified professional at least every seven calendar days and within 24 hours of the end of a storm event 0.5 inch or greater. The purpose of such inspections will be to determine the overall effectiveness of the plan and the need for additional control measures. During each inspection, the licensed/certified professional shall record the following information:
On a site map, indicate the extent of all disturbed site areas and drainage pathways. Indicate site areas that are expected to undergo initial disturbance or significant site work within the next fourteen-day period;
Indicate on a site map all areas of the site that have undergone temporary or permanent stabilization;
Indicate all disturbed site areas that have not undergone active site work during the previous fourteen-day period;
Inspect all sediment control practices and record the approximate degree of sediment accumulation as a percentage of the sediment storage volume;
Inspect all erosion and sediment control practices and record all maintenance requirements, such as verifying the integrity of barrier or diversion systems and containment systems. Identify any evidence of rill or gully erosion occurring on slopes and any loss of stabilizing vegetation or seeding/mulching. Document any excessive deposition of sediment or ponding water along barrier or diversion systems. Record the depth of sediment within containment structures, any erosion near outlet and overflow structures, and verify the ability of rock filters around perforated riser pipes to pass water; and
All deficiencies that are identified with the implementation of the SWPPP.
A copy of the NOI and a brief description of the project shall be posted at the construction site in a prominent place for public viewing. A copy of the SWPPP shall be retained at the site of the land development activity during construction from the beginning of construction activities to the date of final stabilization. The SWPPP and inspection reports are public documents that the operator must make available for inspection, review and copying by any person within five business days of the operator receiving a written request by such person to review the SWPPP and/or the inspection reports. Copying of documents will be done at the requester's expense.
The operator shall maintain a record of all inspection reports in a site log book. The site log book shall be maintained on site and be made available to the City of Schenectady upon request. The operator shall post at the site, in a publicly accessible location, a summary of the site-inspection activities on a monthly basis.
Inspections of stormwater management practices (SMPs). The City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer or designated agent is responsible for conducting inspections of stormwater management practices (permanent water quantity/quality improvement structures). All operators are required to submit as-built plans certified by a licensed/certified professional for any permanent stormwater management practices located on site after final stabilization. [NOTE: "Final stabilization" means that all soil-disturbing activities at the site have been completed and a uniform perennial vegetative cover with a density of 80% has been established or equivalent stabilization measures (such as the use of mulches, or geotextile mats) have been employed on all unpaved areas and areas not covered by permanent structures.] Operators shall also provide the owner(s) of such structure(s) with a manual describing the operation and maintenance practices that will be necessary in order for the structure to function as designed. The operator must also certify that the permanent structure(s) have been constructed as described in the SWPPP. This certification can be accomplished by providing to the City of Schenectady a copy of the notice of termination (NOT) filed with the NYS DEC.
All certified as-built plans, lands, structures, and/or appurtenances to be dedicated to the City of Schenectady shall be reviewed, inspected and approved by the City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer or designated agent prior to City of Schenectady acceptance.
Notice of termination (NOT). Upon certification by the operators licensed/certified professional that a final site inspection has been conducted and that final stabilization has been accomplished and all stormwater management practices have been constructed as described in the SWPPP, the operator shall complete and file an NOT as prescribed by the NYS DEC and file a copy with the City of Schenectady to notify them that they have complied with Subsection A and that the project is complete.
Inspection programs shall be established on any reasonable basis, including but not limited to routine inspections; random inspections; inspections based upon complaints or other notice of possible violations; and joint inspections with other agencies inspecting under environmental or safety laws. Inspections may include but are not limited to reviewing maintenance and repair records; sampling discharges, surface water, groundwater, and material or water in drainage facilities; and evaluating the condition of drainage control facilities and other stormwater management practices.
Construction completion guarantee. The applicant or developer may be required to provide, prior to construction, a performance bond, cash escrow, or irrevocable letter of credit, from an appropriate financial or surety institution which guarantees satisfactory completion of the project and names the City of Schenectady as the beneficiary. The security shall be in an amount determined by the City of Schenectady based on submission of final design plans, with reference to actual construction and landscaping costs. The performance guarantee shall remain in force until the surety is released from liability by the City of Schenectady, provided that such period shall not be less than one year from the date of final acceptance or such other certification that the facilities have been constructed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and that a one-year inspection has been conducted and the facilities have been found to be acceptable to the City of Schenectady. Per annum interest on cash escrow deposits shall be reinvested in the account until the surety is released from liability.
Maintenance guarantee. Where stormwater management and erosion and sediment control facilities are to be operated and maintained by the developer or by a corporation that owns or manages a commercial or industrial facility, the developer, prior to construction, may be required to provide the City of Schenectady with an irrevocable letter of credit from an approved financial institution or surety to ensure proper operation and maintenance of all stormwater management and erosion control facilities both during and after construction, and until the facilities are removed from operation. If the developer or landowner fails to properly operate and maintain stormwater management and erosion control facilities, the City of Schenectady may, upon notification, draw upon the account to cover the costs of proper operation and maintenance, including engineering and inspection costs.
The responsible board or municipal official is hereby authorized to retain licensed/certified professionals as are determined to be necessary to carry out the review of a SWPPP or to make regular or final inspections of all control measures, lands, structures, and/or appurtenances, to be dedicated to the City of Schenectady in accordance with the approved plan.
Payment for the services of such professionals is to be made from funds deposited by the applicant with the City of Schenectady in escrow accounts for such purposes.
It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to submit to the City of Schenectady certified check(s) in amounts equal to the estimate of the licensed/certified professional for the cost of services to be rendered. Estimates shall reflect reasonable costs at prevailing rates. The City of Schenectady shall make payments to said professional for services rendered to it upon acceptance by the City of Schenectady of said service.
Notice of violation. The operator and all contractors and subcontractors must comply with all conditions of a SWPPP submitted pursuant to this article. In the event that the City of Schenectady determines that a land development activity is not being carried out in accordance with the requirements of this article, the Stormwater Management Officer, may issue a written notice of violation to the operator/landowner, applicant and all contractors/subcontractors subject to the provisions of this article. The notice of violation shall contain:
The name and address of the operator/landowner, developer, or applicant;
The address of the site or a description of the building, structure or land upon which the violation is occurring;
A statement specifying the nature of the violation;
A description of the remedial measures necessary to bring the land development activity into compliance with this article and a time schedule for the completion of such remedial action;
A statement of the penalty or penalties that can be assessed against the person to whom the notice of violation is directed;
Within 15 days of notification of violation (or as otherwise provided by the City of Schenectady), the violator shall take the remedial measures necessary to bring the land development activity into compliance with this article.
Stop-work order. The City of Schenectady Stormwater Management Officer may issue a stop-work order for violation of this article. Persons receiving a stop-work order shall be required to halt all land development activities, except those activities that address the violation(s) identified in the stop-work order. The stop-work order shall be in effect until the City of Schenectady confirms that the land development activity is in compliance and the violation has been satisfactorily addressed. Failure to address a stop-work order in a timely manner may result in civil, criminal, and/or monetary penalties in accordance with this article.
Penalties. Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and each day during which any violation of any of the provisions of this article is committed, continued, or permitted shall constitute a separate offense. Upon conviction of any such violation, such person, partnership, or corporation shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250 for each offense. In addition to any other penalty authorized by this section, any person, partnership, or corporation convicted of violating any of the provisions of this article shall be required to bear the expense of such restoration. To the extent that the noncompliance with this article constitutes a violation of the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Conservation Law, there may be substantial criminal, civil, and administrative penalties depending upon the nature and degree of the offense.
Withholding certificate of occupancy. If any building or land development activity is installed or conducted in violation of this article, the City of Schenectady Building Inspector may prevent the occupancy of said building or land.
[Adopted 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
The purpose of this article is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Schenectady through the regulation of nonstormwater discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law. This article establishes methods for controlling the introduction of pollutants into the MS4 in order to comply with requirements of the SPDES General Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. The objectives of this article are:
To meet the requirements of the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from MS4s, Permit No. GP-02-02, or as amended or revised;
To regulate the contribution of pollutants to the MS4 since such systems are not designed to accept, process or discharge nonstormwater wastes;
To prohibit illicit connections, activities and discharges to the MS4;
To establish legal authority to carry out all inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to ensure compliance with this article; and
To promote public awareness of the hazards involved in the improper discharge of trash, yard waste, lawn chemicals, pet waste, wastewater, grease, oil, petroleum products, cleaning products, paint products, hazardous waste, sediment and other pollutants into the MS4.
Whenever used in this article, unless a different meaning is stated in a definition applicable to only a portion of this article, the following terms will have meanings set forth below:
- 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 requiring authorization under the SPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity, GP-02-01, as amended or revised. These activities include construction projects resulting in land disturbance of one or more acres. Such activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating, and demolition.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
- DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
- New York State licensed professional engineer or licensed architect.
- 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 to human health, safety, property, or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.
- ILLICIT CONNECTIONS
- Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the MS4, including but not limited to:
- A. Any conveyances which allow any nonstormwater discharge including treated or untreated sewage, process wastewater, and wash water to enter the MS4 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
- B. Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the MS4 which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records and approved by an authorized enforcement agency.
- ILLICIT DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect nonstormwater discharge to the MS4, except as exempted in § 148-24 of this article.
- INDIVIDUAL SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM
- A facility serving one or more parcels of land or residential households, or a private, commercial or institutional facility, that treats sewage or other liquid wastes for discharge into the groundwaters of New York State, except where a permit for such a facility is required under the applicable provisions of Article 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
- INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
- Activities requiring the SPDES Permit for Discharges from Industrial Activities Except Construction, GP-98-03, as amended or revised.
- Municipal separate storm sewer system.
- MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM
- A conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains):
- The City of Schenectady.
- NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the MS4 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.
- Dredged spoil, filter backwash, solid waste, incinerator residue, treated or untreated sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand and industrial, municipal, agricultural waste and ballast discharged into water; which may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause pollution of the waters of the state in contravention of the standards.
- Any building, lot, parcel of land, or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.
- A. Discharge compliance with water quality standards: the condition that applies where a municipality has been notified that the discharge of stormwater authorized under their MS4 permit may have caused or has the reasonable potential to cause or contribute to the violation of an applicable water quality standard. Under this condition, the municipality must take all necessary actions to ensure future discharges do not cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards.
- B. 303(d) listed waters: the condition in the municipality's MS4 permit that applies where the MS4 discharges to a 303(d) listed water. Under this condition, the stormwater management program must ensure no increase of the listed pollutant of concern to the 303(d) listed water.
- C. Total maximum daily load (TMDL) strategy: the condition in the municipality's MS4 permit where a TMDL including requirements for control of stormwater discharges has been approved by EPA for a water body or watershed into which the MS4 discharges. If the discharge from the MS4 did not meet the TMDL stormwater allocations prior to September 10, 2003, the municipality was required to modify its stormwater management program to ensure that reduction of the pollutant of concern specified in the TMDL is achieved.
- D. The condition in the municipality's MS4 permit that applies if a TMDL is approved in the future by EPA for any water body or watershed into which an MS4 discharges: Under this condition, the municipality must review the applicable TMDL to see if it includes requirements for control of stormwater discharges. If an MS4 is not meeting the TMDL stormwater allocations, the municipality must, within six months of the TMDL's approval, modify its stormwater management program to ensure that reduction of the pollutant of concern specified in the TMDL is achieved.
- STATE POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (SPDES) STORMWATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
- A permit issued by the Department that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the state.
- Rainwater, surface runoff, snowmelt and drainage.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER FOR IDDE (SMO)
- An employee designated by the City of Schenectady to enforce this article.
- 303(d) LIST
- A list of all surface waters in the state for which beneficial uses of the water (drinking, recreation, aquatic habitat, and industrial use) are impaired by pollutants, prepared periodically by the Department as required by Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. 303(d) listed waters are estuaries, lakes and streams that fall short of state surface water quality standards and are not expected to improve within the next two years.
- Total maximum daily load.
- TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD
- The maximum amount of a pollutant to be allowed to be released into a water body so as not to impair uses of the water allocated among the sources of that pollutant.
- Water that is not stormwater, is contaminated with pollutants and is or will be discarded.
This article shall apply to all water entering the MS4 generated on any developed and undeveloped lands unless explicitly exempted by an authorized enforcement agency.
The Stormwater Management Officer(s) [SMO(s)] shall administer, implement, and enforce the provisions of this article. Such powers granted or duties imposed upon the authorized enforcement official may be delegated in writing by the SMO as may be authorized by the Mayor.
The provisions of this article are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this article 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 article.
Prohibition of illegal discharges. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the MS4 any materials other than stormwater except as provided in Subsection A(1). The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the MS4 is prohibited except as described as follows:
The following discharges are exempt from discharge prohibitions established by this article, unless the Department or the municipality has determined them to be substantial contributors of pollutants: water line flushing or other potable water sources, landscape irrigation or lawn watering, existing diverted stream flows, rising groundwater, uncontaminated groundwater infiltration to storm drains, uncontaminated pumped groundwater, foundation or footing drains, crawl space or basement sump pumps, air-conditioning condensate, irrigation water, springs, water from individual residential car washing, natural riparian habitat or wetland flows, dechlorinated swimming pool discharges, residential street wash water, water from fire-fighting activities, and any other water source not containing pollutants. Such exempt discharges shall be made in accordance with an appropriate plan for reducing pollutants.
Discharges approved in writing by the SMO to protect life or property from imminent harm or damage, provided that such approval shall not be construed to constitute compliance with other applicable laws and requirements, and further provided that such discharges may be permitted for a specified time period and under such conditions as the SMO may deem appropriate to protect such life and property while reasonably maintaining the purpose and intent of this article.
Dye testing in compliance with applicable state and local laws is an allowable discharge, but requires notification to the SMO prior to the time of the test.
The prohibition shall not apply to any discharge permitted under an SPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Department, 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 MS4.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the MS4 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 article if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the municipality's MS4 or allows such a connection to continue.
No persons shall operate a failing individual sewage treatment system in areas tributary to the municipality's MS4. A failing individual sewage treatment system is one which has one or more of the following conditions:
The backup of sewage into a structure.
Discharges of treated or untreated sewage onto the ground surface.
A connection or connections to a separate stormwater sewer system.
Structural failure of any component of the individual sewage treatment system that could lead to any of the other failure conditions as noted in this section.
Contamination of off-site groundwater.
Activities that are subject to the requirements of this section are those types of activities that:
Upon notification to a person that he or she is engaged in activities that cause or contribute to violations of the municipality's MS4 SPDES permit authorization, that person shall take all reasonable actions to correct such activities such that he or she no longer causes or contributes to violations of the municipality's MS4 SPDES permit authorization.
Best management practices. Where the SMO has identified illicit discharges as defined in § 148-20 or activities contaminating stormwater as defined in § 148-26, the municipality may require implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to control those illicit discharges and activities.
The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at his or her own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the MS4 through the use of structural and nonstructural BMPs.
Any person responsible for a property or premises, which is, or may be, the source of an illicit discharge as defined in § 148-20 or an activity contaminating stormwater as defined in § 148-24, may be required to implement, at said person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to reduce or eliminate the source of pollutant(s) to the MS4.
Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid SPDES permit authorizing the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed compliance with the provisions of this section.
Repair or replace individual sewage treatment systems as follows:
In accordance with 10 NYCRR, Appendix 75-A to the maximum extent practicable.
A design professional licensed to practice in New York State shall prepare design plans for any type of absorption field that involves:
A written certificate of compliance shall be submitted by the design professional to the municipality at the completion of construction of the repair or replacement system.
Illicit discharges in emergency situations. The SMO 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, to the health or welfare of persons, or to the MS4. The SMO shall notify the person of such suspension within a reasonable time thereafter in writing of the reasons for the suspension. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the SMO may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4 or to minimize danger to persons.
Suspension due to the detection of illicit discharge. Any person discharging to the municipality's MS4 in violation of this article may have his or her MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The SMO will notify a violator in writing of the proposed termination of its MS4 access and the reasons therefor. The violator may petition the SMO for a reconsideration and hearing. Access may be granted by the SMO if he/she finds that the illicit discharge has ceased and the discharger has taken steps to prevent its recurrence. Access may be denied if the SMO determines in writing that the illicit discharge has not ceased or is likely to recur. A person commits an offense if the person reinstates MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section without the prior approval of the SMO.
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity SPDES 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 municipality prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
Applicability. This section applies to all facilities that the SMO must inspect to enforce any provision of this article, or whenever the authorized enforcement agency has cause to believe that there exists, or potentially exists, in or upon any premises any condition which constitutes a violation of this article.
Access to facilities.
The SMO shall be permitted to enter and inspect facilities subject to regulation under this article as often as may be necessary to determine compliance with this article. 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 the SMO.
Facility operators shall allow the SMO ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, examination and copying of records as may be required to implement this article.
The municipality shall have the right to set up on any facility subject to this article such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the SMO to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the facility's stormwater discharge.
The municipality has the right to require the facilities subject to this article to install monitoring equipment as is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this article. 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.
Unreasonable delays in allowing the municipality access to a facility subject to this article is a violation of this article. A person who is the operator of a facility subject to this article commits an offense if the person denies the municipality reasonable access to the facility for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this article.
If the SMO has been refused access to any part of the premises from which stormwater is discharged, and he/she is able to demonstrate probable cause to believe that there may be a violation of this article, 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 article or any order issued hereunder, then the SMO may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
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 the MS4, 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 municipality in person or by telephone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by telephone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the municipality within three business days of the telephone 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.
When the municipality's SMO finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this article, he/she may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person. Such notice may require, without limitation:
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;
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
Payment of a fine; 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.
Penalties. In addition to or as an alternative to any penalty provided herein or by law, any person who violates the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purposes of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this article shall be deemed misdemeanors and for such purpose only all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this article. If a person has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this article, the SMO 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 addition to the enforcement processes and penalties provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this article 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 article 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 article shall be effective immediately upon filing with the New York State Secretary of State.