Chapter 7.53
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL

Sections:

7.53.010    Title.

7.53.020    Declaration of purposes and objectives.

7.53.030    Applicability.

7.53.035    Public nuisances subject to enforcement and remediation.

7.53.040    Administration - Authority of directors.

7.53.050    Snohomish County Drainage Manual.

7.53.060    Definitions.

7.53.065    Repealed.

7.53.070    Prohibited discharges.

7.53.080    Prohibited plumbing or sewer connections.

7.53.090    Allowed discharges.

7.53.095    Conditionally allowed discharges.

7.53.100    Advance notice of dye testing required.

7.53.110    Emergency public fire fighting discharges exempt.

7.53.120    Best management practices (BMPs) required.

7.53.130    Inspections.

7.53.140    Repealed.

7.53.150    Notification of discharges required.

7.53.160    Investigation and testing of prohibited discharges.

7.53.170    Repealed.

7.53.180    Notice and order to cease violation.

7.53.185    Warning notice as alternative to notice and order.

7.53.190    Monetary penalties and costs.

7.53.192    Criteria for determining amount of monetary penalty.

7.53.195    Monetary penalty schedule - Noncommercial violations.

7.53.197    Monetary penalty schedule - Commercial violations.

7.53.200    Repealed.

7.53.205    Response to a notice and order.

7.53.208    Revised notice and order.

7.53.210    Repealed.

7.53.215    Hearing examiner process for appeal of notice and order.

7.53.220    Repealed.

7.53.225    Appeal under LUPA.

7.53.230    Repealed.

7.53.235    Final order.

7.53.238    Failure to comply with final order.

7.53.240    Repealed.

7.53.242    Criminal prosecution.

7.53.245    Reduction of monetary penalties.

7.53.247    No county liability.

7.53.250    Immunity from suit.

7.53.260    Compliance with other laws.

7.53.600    Repealed.

7.53.010 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the Snohomish County Water Pollution Control Code.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.020 Declaration of purposes and objectives.

(1) The purposes of this chapter are to:

(a) Protect the quality of the county’s aquatic resources, including receiving waters, groundwater, and aquatic sediments, from the discharge of contaminants and the adverse impacts of stormwater runoff;

(b) Protect the function and integrity of public infrastructure related to stormwater control, including county roads, associated rights-of-way, and drainage facilities;

(c) Reduce, prevent and ameliorate the adverse impacts of contaminated discharges on public health, safety and welfare; and

(d) Protect, maintain and improve the quality of the county’s water resources for fish and wildlife habitat, human recreation and other ecological and aesthetic purposes and beneficial uses.

(2) The objectives of this chapter are to:

(a) Establish minimum requirements pursuant to which the owners, occupants and operators of real property must effectively implement all known, available and reasonable methods of treatment and control of discharges from their real property, consistent with the county’s Drainage Manual, RCW 90.48.260, the Clean Water Act, and the county’s Phase I NPDES municipal stormwater permit; and

(b) Establish procedures pursuant to which the county may enforce compliance with the requirements described above.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.030 Applicability.

Unless specifically exempted herein, this chapter applies to all discharges that occur in the unincorporated areas of the county.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.035 Public nuisances subject to enforcement and remediation.

Each and every violation of this chapter constitutes a public nuisance subject to enforcement action under this chapter or to such other remediation as is authorized by law. The remedies set forth in this chapter are not exclusive, and do not limit or restrict the authority of the county to cure, abate, ameliorate or remediate violations in any other lawful manner.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.040 Administration - Authority of directors.

The directors of the department of public works and the department of planning and development services shall be responsible for implementing this chapter. The directors are each authorized to adopt and amend procedural rules pertaining to the implementation and enforcement of this chapter; provided, that the directors shall coordinate with one another to avoid adopting conflicting or duplicative procedural rules under this section. Copies of all procedural rules and amendments thereto shall be available to the public at the respective departments.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.050 Snohomish County Drainage Manual.

The technical guidelines and best management practices contained in the most recent version of the Drainage Manual adopted by the director of the department of public works pursuant to chapter 30.63A SCC shall be used in implementing the requirements of this chapter. A copy of the Drainage Manual shall be available to the public at the department of public works.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.060 Definitions.

In this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings specified below:

(1) "Aquatic sediment" means a surface sediment overlain by an aquatic environment; a solid, fragmented, particulate material transported and deposited by wind, water, ice or chemically precipitated from solution and/or secreted by organisms; forming deposits of loose, unconsolidated layers in which the void spaces are occupied by fresh, marine or brackish water.

(2) "Best management practices" or "BMPs" means physical objects, structures, managerial practices, or behaviors that, when used singly or in combination, eliminate or reduce the introduction of contaminants to stormwater, receiving waters, or groundwater.

(3) "Clean Water Act" means the federal Water Pollution Control Act, codified at 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., as now existing or hereafter amended.

(4) "Commercial violation" means a violation of this chapter that does not meet the definition of a noncommercial violation set forth in subsection (16) of this section.

(5) "Connection" means a plumbing or hydraulic connection.

(6) "Contaminant" means a solid, liquid, or gaseous substance that, if discharged to a drainage facility, natural drainage system, receiving waters or groundwater, will alter the physical, chemical, or biological properties thereof to the extent that the discharge will render the facility, system, or water harmful, detrimental, or injurious to the public health, safety, or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate beneficial uses, or to livestock, wild animals, birds, fish, or other aquatic life. Contaminants may include, but are not limited to, the following: trash or debris; construction materials; petroleum products including but not limited to oil, gasoline, grease, fuel oil or heating oil; antifreeze and other automotive products; metals in either particulate or dissolved form; flammable or explosive materials; radioactive material; batteries; acids, alkalis, or bases; paints, stains, resins, lacquers, or varnishes; degreasers and solvents; drain cleaners; pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers; steam cleaning wastes; soaps, detergents, or ammonia; chlorine, bromine, or other disinfectants; heated water; animal wastes; sewage; animal carcasses; food wastes; bark, soils, sediment, rock and other fibrous materials; collected lawn clippings, leaves, or branches; dyes, except as allowed in SCC 7.53.090(11); and wastewater generated by commercial or industrial activities.

(7) "Director" means the director of the department of public works or the department of planning and development services unless otherwise specified.

(8) "Discharge" means to throw, drain, release, dump, spill, empty, emit, or pour any matter into receiving waters, groundwater, a natural drainage system, or a drainage facility, or to cause or allow matter to be thrown, drained, released, dumped, spilled, emptied, emitted or poured into receiving waters, groundwater, a natural drainage system, or a drainage facility, or to cause or allow matter to flow, run, or seep from land into receiving waters, groundwater, a natural drainage system, or a drainage facility.

(9) "Drainage facility" means any part of a manmade physical system designed or constructed to collect, treat, convey, store, or control the flow of stormwater. Drainage facilities include, but are not limited to, stormwater conveyance and containment facilities, including pipelines, constructed channels and ditches, infiltration facilities, retention and detention facilities, stormwater treatment facilities, erosion and sedimentation control facilities, and all other drainage structures and appurtenances.

(10) "Ecology" means the Washington State Department of Ecology.

(11) "EPA" means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

(12) "Groundwater" means all waters that exist beneath the land surface or beneath the bed of any stream, lake, or reservoir, or other body of surface water, whatever may be the geological formation or structure in which such water stands, flows, percolates or otherwise moves.

(13) "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" or "NPDES" means the national program authorized under the Clean Water Act for controlling pollutants from point and nonpoint source discharges into waters of the United States.

(14) "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit" or "NPDES permit" means a permit issued by Ecology or the EPA to implement the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

(15) "Natural drainage system" means the physical beds and boundaries of receiving waters, including those natural drainage systems that have been altered by human actions.

(16) "Noncommercial violation" means a violation of this chapter in which the real property on which the violation occurs is used solely for residential purposes for the benefit of the responsible person(s) and his, her or their immediate family members.

(17) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, nonprofit corporation, municipal corporation, government agency, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, professional services corporation, or any other legally recognized entity.

(18) "Person(s) responsible" or "responsible person(s)" means the person(s) obligated to remediate a particular violation, and includes all of the following persons:

(a) The fee owner(s) of the real property on which the violation exists or occurred;

(b) The tenant(s), licensee(s) or other person(s) entitled to use, occupy or otherwise control the real property on which the violation exists or occurred;

(c) The person(s) who performed or committed the acts or omissions causing or leading to the violation (if applicable); and

(d) Any other person(s) responsible for the violation under applicable law.

(19) "Receiving waters" means lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, wetlands, brackish or salt waters, portions of Puget Sound, and any other naturally occurring surface waters or watercourses located within the unincorporated county, including those for which the physical beds and boundaries have been altered by human actions.

(20) "Repeat violation" means a violation that is of the same or substantially similar type as a prior violation, occurring (a) on the same property as the prior violation, and (b) within 24 months after remediation of the prior violation was completed. Provided, that if remediation of the prior violation was never satisfactorily completed, a new violation that is of the same or substantially similar type occurring on the same property is also a "repeat violation."

(21) "Repeat violator" means a person responsible for more than one violation when: (a) the violations are of the same or substantially similar type, (b) the violations are on different properties, and (c) the violations occur within the same 24-month time period. For purposes of this subsection, the "time period" in which a particular violation "occurs" shall include the entire time during which the violation is in existence - from the initial occurrence of the violation, through the discovery of the violation, and continuing until remediation of the violation has been satisfactorily completed.

(22) "Snohomish County Drainage Manual" or "Drainage Manual" means the manual adopted by the director of the department of public works pursuant to chapter 30.63A SCC, and any amendments thereto, as described in SCC 7.53.050.

(23) "Source control best management practices" or "source control BMPs" means structures, equipment, supplies, or operations that are intended to prevent pollutants from coming into contact with stormwater through physical separation of areas or careful management of activities that are sources of pollutants.

(24) "State Sediment Management Standards" means those standards established by Ecology for sediment, as set forth in chapter 173-204 WAC.

(25) "State Waste Discharge Permit" means a permit issued by Ecology in accordance with chapter 173-216 WAC.

(26) "State Water Quality Standards" means those water quality standards established by Ecology for surface waters, as set forth in chapter 173-201A WAC, and for groundwater, as set forth in chapter 173-200 WAC.

(27) "Stormwater" means surface water runoff resulting from rainfall, snowmelt, or other precipitation, prior to discharge to a receiving water or groundwater.

(28) "Violation" means the occurrence of any of the following:

(a) Discharge of a contaminant into a drainage facility, natural drainage system, receiving water, or groundwater;

(b) Failure to implement standards or best management practices required by this chapter;

(c) Failure to comply with any requirement established in this chapter; or

(d) Performing or allowing the performance of any act prohibited by this chapter.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.065 Violations.

(Added by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013)

7.53.070 Prohibited discharges.

Except as allowed in SCC 7.53.090 or conditionally allowed in SCC 7.53.095, the following discharges to any drainage facility, natural drainage system, receiving water, or groundwater are prohibited:

(1) Any discharge not completely composed of stormwater;

(2) Any discharge that causes or contributes to a violation of State Water Quality Standards or State Sediment Management Standards;

(3) Any discharge that causes or contributes to a violation of any NPDES permit or State Waste Discharge Permit issued to the county;

(4) Any discharge that causes the county to be in violation of the State Underground Injection Control Program (chapter 173-218 WAC); and

(5) Any discharge that contains contaminants.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.080 Prohibited plumbing or sewer connections.

Plumbing or sewer connections that could discharge contaminants to a drainage facility, natural drainage system, receiving waters, or groundwater in violation of SCC 7.53.070 are prohibited except:

(1) Connections conveying discharges allowed by an NPDES permit or a State Waste Discharge Permit; or

(2) Connections conveying effluent to subsurface soils from on-site sewage disposal systems authorized by the Snohomish Health District or Ecology; provided, that such discharges do not otherwise violate SCC 7.53.070.

(Added Ord.01-005, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.090 Allowed discharges.

The following discharges are allowed if the discharge does not contain contaminants:

(1) Naturally occurring surface water and groundwater;

(2) Diverted stream flows;

(3) Uncontaminated groundwater entering drainage facilities via pipe joints, pipe connections, manholes, defective pipes, or via seepage from the earth into open drainage structures such as ditches or ponds;

(4) Pumped groundwater;

(5) Uncontaminated water discharged from foundation drains, footing drains, and crawl space pumps;

(6) Air conditioning condensation;

(7) Irrigation water from agricultural sources that is commingled with stormwater;

(8) Runoff from lawn watering and landscape irrigation;

(9) Materials used or structures installed as part of capital construction projects, habitat restoration projects, bank stabilization projects, scientific research, or similar projects, as approved by the county, the state of Washington, or the federal government;

(10) Marine engine exhaust and cooling water;

(11) Nontoxic dye used for identifying and testing sewer connections when used in compliance with SCC 7.53.100; and

(12) Nonstormwater discharges covered by an NPDES or State Waste Discharge Permit issued by Ecology or EPA.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.095 Conditionally allowed discharges.

The following discharges are allowed only if the discharges do not contain contaminants:

(1) Potable water discharges, including water line flushing, fire hydrant system flushing, and pipeline hydrostatic testing, when the discharge contains less than 0.1 milligram per liter of total residual chlorine, has a pH between 6.5 and 8.5, and does not cause resuspension of sediment in the public drainage system;

(2) Swimming pool, hot tub, and spa discharges other than swimming pool cleaning wastewater and filter backwash, when the discharge (a) contains less than 0.1 milligram per liter of total residual chlorine, (b) does not contain algicides other than chlorine or bromine compounds, and (c) is thermally controlled as necessary to prevent an increase in temperature of receiving waters; and

(3) Discharges of water from washing streets, sidewalks, and building exteriors, and water used to control dust, when the discharge does not contain soap or detergent, and when streets and sidewalks associated with active construction sites are swept prior to washing.

(Added by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.100 Advance notice of dye testing required.

Any person conducting dye testing in accordance with SCC 7.53.090(11) shall notify the director of the department of public works at least one day prior to the date of test.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.110 Emergency public fire fighting discharges exempt.

Discharges resulting directly from emergency public fire fighting activities are exempt from compliance with this chapter. Discharges resulting from maintenance, repair, or operation of fire fighting equipment and facilities that are not directly associated with public fire fighting, including discharges from public fire fighting training exercises, are not exempt from compliance with this chapter.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2008; Amended Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.120 Best management practices (BMPs) required.

(1) Any person storing or using materials containing contaminants in any manner that may result in a prohibited discharge shall implement the source control BMPs described in Volume 4, Chapter 2 of the Drainage Manual.

(2) Any person operating a facility or performing an activity described in Chapter 3, Volume 4 of the Drainage Manual shall implement the source control BMPs described therein for the facility or activity.

(3) Full implementation of all stormwater BMPs required by an NPDES industrial stormwater permit or State Waste Discharge Permit shall constitute compliance with this section.

(4) As an alternative to implementing the BMPs described in subsections (1) through (3) of this section, the director may allow or require implementation of BMPs described in (a) Volume 4, Chapter 4 or 5 of the Drainage Manual, (b) Volume 2, 3, or 5 of the Drainage Manual, or (c) other documents such as stormwater pollution prevention plans developed pursuant to farm plans or similar documents, if the director determines the alternative BMPs provide substantially equivalent environmental protection and meet the objectives of safety, function, and maintenance. The director shall document in writing all such determinations and supporting information.

(5) Full implementation of the source control BMPs described in subsections (1) through (4) of this section constitutes the minimum required actions an owner, occupant or operator of real property must take toward preventing prohibited discharges from the real property. Full implementation of the BMPs required by this section does not exempt a person from also complying with any other requirement of this chapter.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.130 Inspections.

The county may enter onto and inspect properties or facilities to determine compliance with this chapter if (1) the county has the right to enter onto the property or facility for purposes of inspection pursuant to an easement, covenant, license, search warrant or other instrument, or (2) the owner, occupant or operator of the property, or another person having apparent control or authority over the property, grants the county permission to enter and perform an inspection. Such inspections may include the following activities:

(1) Examination of vehicles, trailers, tanks, or mobile or stationary equipment which could cause a prohibited discharge;

(2) Inspection, sampling, and testing any area, discharge, material, or drainage facility for the purpose of determining the potential for contribution of pollutants to drainage facilities or receiving waters;

(3) Investigation of the integrity of drainage facilities on the premises using appropriate tests including but not limited to dye or smoke testing or video surveys;

(4) Creating records reasonably necessary to document conditions related to stormwater pollution or BMPs implemented on the premises, including but not limited to photographs, video, measurements and drawings; and

(5) Inspection and copying of nonconfidential records relating to site activity or processes presently or previously occurring, including but not limited to material safety data sheets, stormwater pollution prevention plans, spill response plans, hazardous waste manifests, drainage inspection records, state or federal stormwater permits, or other records related to prohibited connections or discharges.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.140 Maintenance and repair of drainage facilities.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Ord. 08-135, Oct. 29, 2008, Eff date Nov. 13, 2008; Amended by Ord. 10-076, Sept. 29, 2010, Eff date Oct. 11, 2010; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.150 Notification of discharges required.

Any person causing or allowing a prohibited discharge shall report the discharge immediately upon discovery to the director. This reporting requirement is in addition to any other notification required under federal, state or local laws and regulations.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.160 Investigation and testing of prohibited discharges.

If the director determines either by notification or by testing that a prohibited discharge is occurring or has occurred, he or she may require the person(s) responsible for the discharge to investigate and test private plumbing, sanitary sewers, and drainage facilities, and test water to determine the nature and character of the discharge, or to determine the source or cause of the discharge. Alternatively, the director may have the county perform such investigations and tests as may be reasonably necessary to enforce this chapter. If the county performs investigations and tests to enforce this chapter, the county may recover the costs of such investigations and tests from the person(s) responsible for the violation, as authorized herein.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.170 Enforcement -- chapters 10.70 and 30.85 SCC not applicable.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Ord. 02-098, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 12-111, Jan. 9, 2013, Eff date March 1, 2013; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.180 Notice and order to cease violation.

(1) Whenever any condition is found to be in violation of this chapter or standards required hereunder, the director may cause a notice and order to be issued to the responsible person(s), which may include an order to immediately cease the activity causing the violation or take other action to abate the violation.

(2) The notice and order shall include the following information:

(a) The name(s) of the person(s) determined to be responsible for the violation;

(b) The address or legal description of the real property on which the violation exists or occurred;

(c) A description of the violation, including the specific provision of this chapter which has been violated;

(d) If applicable, a brief description of any activity which is causing the violation to exist or occur;

(e) A description of any required corrective action;

(f) A deadline by which corrective action, if any, must be completed;

(g) The amount of monetary penalty imposed due to the violation and the date by which payment must be made;

(h) The signature and written name of the county official issuing the notice and order;

(i) The contact information for the county’s designated contact person or office to which questions regarding the notice and order may be directed;

(j) The date of the notice and order; and

(k) Notice of the right to contest the notice and order as provided in SCC 7.53.205(5).

(3) A notice and order may be amended at any time to correct clerical errors. An amendment made pursuant to this subsection shall not affect the validity or effective date of the original notice and order.

(4) The notice and order shall be served upon the responsible person(s) by one of the following methods:

(a) By personal service;

(b) By certified mail, sent to the last known address of the responsible person(s);

(c) If the address of the responsible person(s) is unknown, by posting a copy of the notice and order in a conspicuous place at the site of the violation.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.185 Warning notice as alternative to notice and order.

(1) As an alternative to issuing a notice and order, the director may issue a warning notice to the person(s) responsible for an apparent violation of this chapter if the apparent violation can be corrected within a reasonable amount of time. A warning notice is a communication by the director containing recommended actions that may be taken by the person(s) responsible for an apparent violation in order to potentially avoid the issuance of a notice and order.

(2) A warning notice shall include the following information:

(a) The name(s) of the person(s) determined to be responsible for the apparent violation;

(b) The address or legal description of the real property on which the apparent violation exists or has occurred;

(c) A description of the apparent violation, including the specific provision of this chapter which appears to have been violated;

(d) If applicable, a brief description of any activity which is causing the apparent violation to exist or occur;

(e) A description of any recommended corrective action;

(f) A deadline by which corrective action should be completed in order to avoid issuance of a notice and order;

(g) The signature and written name of the county official issuing the warning notice;

(h) The contact information for the county’s designated contact person or office to which questions regarding the warning notice may be directed; and

(i) The date of the warning notice.

(3) The director may issue a notice and order for a violation of this chapter irrespective of any previous issuance of a warning notice regarding the violation.

(Added by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.190 Monetary penalties and costs.

(1) Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, the director may impose a monetary penalty upon the person(s) responsible for the violation. Any such penalty will be set forth in a notice and order issued pursuant to SCC 7.53.180.

(2) The base amount of monetary penalties for noncommercial violations shall be determined by the director by reference to the penalty criteria contained in SCC 7.53.192 and the penalty schedule contained in SCC 7.53.195. For repeat violators and repeat violations, the base penalty amount resulting from this calculation shall be doubled.

(3) The base amount of monetary penalties for commercial violations shall be determined by the director by reference to the penalty criteria contained in SCC 7.53.192 and the penalty schedule contained in SCC 7.53.197. For repeat violators and repeat violations, the base penalty amount resulting from this calculation shall be doubled.

(4) In addition to the base penalty amount, the person(s) responsible for a violation, whether a noncommercial violation or a commercial violation, may also be required to reimburse the county for the costs incurred by the county in investigating the violation and enforcing remediation of the violation, including any laboratory costs. If the full amount of reimbursable costs incurred by the county due to a particular violation is not known at the time an original notice and order is issued, a revised notice and order including such costs in the monetary penalty may be issued to the responsible person(s) once said costs are known.

(5) If there is more than one person responsible for a given violation, all responsible persons shall be jointly and severally liable to the county for the entire amount of monetary penalties imposed with respect to the violation.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.192 Criteria for determining amount of monetary penalty.

(1) The director shall evaluate the five criteria listed in this subsection in determining the appropriate amount of monetary penalty to impose for a particular violation:

(a) Public health risk from the violation;

(b) Environmental damage from the violation;

(c) Willful or knowing violation;

(d) Economic benefit accruing to responsible person(s) from noncompliance; and

(e) Responsiveness of responsible person(s) in correcting violation.

(2) For each penalty criterion described in subsection (1) of this section, the director shall assign a point score between 0 and 3 that reflects the severity of the violation in the context of the criterion. The director may use the following narrative descriptions as guidance in assigning point scores.

(a) Public health risk - Did/does the violation pose a health risk to humans or animals?

(i) 0 Points - There is little or no health risk resulting from the violation.

(ii) 1 Point - A possibility of sickness exists from exposure to the violation.

(iii) 2 Points - Serious illness is a concern resulting from the violation.

(iv) 3 Points - Very serious illness and possible long-term health concerns result from the violation.

(b) Environmental damage - Has the condition damaged the environment?

(i) 0 Points - Little or no environmental damage occurred as a result of the violation.

(ii) 1 Point - Minor environmental damage due to the violation can be inferred from the evidence.

(iii) 2 Points - The environmental damage resulting from the violation requires moderate restoration to be done.

(iv) 3 Points - The scope of the environmental damage resulting from the violation requires large scale restoration.

(c) Willful or knowing - Is there evidence to support a claim that the violation resulted from a willful or knowing act?

(i) 0 Points - The violation was not due to a willful or knowing act.

(ii) 1 Point - Evidence supports a claim that the violation could be the result of a willful or knowing act.

(iii) 2 Points - Highly probable that the violation resulted from a willful or knowing act.

(iv) 3 Points - No question that the violation definitely resulted from a willful or knowing act.

(d) Economic benefit from noncompliance - Did the violation result in an economic benefit to the responsible person(s)?

(i) 0 Points - Little or no economic benefit resulted from the violation.

(ii) 1 Point - There could have been an economic benefit from the violation, but it cannot be determined.

(iii) 2 Points - There was a direct economic benefit from the violation, but the amount of the benefit could not be determined.

(iv) 3 Points - A direct economic benefit resulted from the violation, the amount could be approximated and it was significant.

(e) Responsiveness - Is/was the responsible person responsive in correcting the violation?

(i) 0 Points - No advance notice of violation or no deadlines for compliance established.

(ii) 1 Point - Showed good effort to correct the violation when notified.

(iii) 2 Points - Made minor efforts but did nothing substantial to correct the violation.

(iv) 3 Points - No attempt made to cooperate or correct the violation.

(3) After assigning point values to each of the criteria set forth in subsection (1) of this section, the director shall sum the point values to obtain the total point value for the violation at issue. For noncommercial violations, the total point value shall be translated into the applicable base penalty amount by reference to SCC 7.53.195. For commercial violations, the total point value shall be translated into the applicable base penalty amount by reference to SCC 7.53.197.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.195 Monetary penalty schedule - Noncommercial violations.

(1) For noncommercial violations, the total point value for the violation at issue obtained from SCC 7.53.192 shall be used to determine the appropriate base penalty amount in the chart below:

Total Number of Points

Amount of Base Penalty (Noncommercial)

0 - 2 points

$300

2 - 4 points

$400

5 points

$550

6 points

$700

7 points

$900

8 points

$1,100

9 points

$1,500

10 points

$2,000

11 - 12 points

$2,500

13+ points

$3,000

(2) Pursuant to SCC 7.53.190(2), if the violation is a repeat violation or if the violator is a repeat violator, the applicable base penalty amount listed in the chart above shall be doubled.

(3) Pursuant to SCC 7.53.190(4), any costs incurred by the county in investigating and enforcing the violation may, in the discretion of the director, be added to the base penalty amount obtained above.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.197 Monetary penalty schedule - Commercial violations.

(1) For commercial violations, the total point value for the violation at issue obtained from SCC 7.53.192 shall be used to determine the appropriate base penalty amount in the chart below:

Total Number of Points

Amount of Base Penalty (Commercial)

0 - 2 points

$600

2 - 4 points

$800

5 points

$1,100

6 points

$1,400

7 points

$1,800

8 points

$2,200

9 points

$3,000

10 points

$4,000

11 - 12 points

$5,000

13+ points

$6,000

(2) Pursuant to SCC 7.53.190(3), if the violation is a repeat violation or if the violator is a repeat violator, the applicable base penalty amount listed in the chart above shall be doubled.

(3) Pursuant to SCC 7.53.190(4), any costs incurred by the county in investigating and enforcing the violation may, in the discretion of the director, be added to the base penalty amount obtained above.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.200 Enforcement -- Criminal penalty.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.205 Response to a notice and order.

The recipient(s) of a notice and order shall respond to the notice and order within 30 calendar days from the date of receiving the notice and order, unless the notice and order specifies a longer time period. The recipient(s) may respond to a notice and order in any of the following ways:

(1) Cure the Violation in a Timely Manner. The recipient(s) of a notice and order may cure the violation described in the notice and order within the time period specified in the notice and order. In such event, the recipient shall promptly notify the county when the violation has been cured, and the county shall promptly inspect the site for compliance. If the county determines the violation has been timely cured, the monetary penalty specified in the notice and order shall be automatically waived in full, as provided in SCC 7.53.245.

(2) Request Additional Time. The recipient(s) of a notice and order may submit a written request to the county requesting additional time to cure the violation. Any such request shall explain why the circumstances surrounding the violation support the request for additional time. The request shall propose a timeline or schedule pursuant to which the responsible person(s) will cure the violation. The director may agree to a reasonable proposal requesting additional time. In connection with approving a request for additional time under this subsection, the director may also agree that if the violation is cured by the new deadline, the amount of the monetary penalty specified in the notice and order shall be reduced by an appropriate amount, consistent with SCC 7.53.245. The director’s decision to grant, deny, or partially grant a request for additional time shall be in writing, as shall any associated decision to conditionally reduce the monetary penalty. If the violation is not cured by the new deadline, then any reduction in the amount of monetary penalties granted pursuant to this subsection shall be void and the original amount of monetary penalties specified in the notice and order shall be due and owing.

(3) Request a Reduction in the Amount of Monetary Penalty. The recipient(s) of a notice and order may submit a written request to the county requesting a reduction in the amount of the monetary penalty specified in the notice and order. Any such request shall explain why the circumstances surrounding the violation support the request to reduce the amount of the monetary penalty. The director may agree to reduce the amount of the monetary penalty by an appropriate amount, consistent with SCC 7.53.245, on the condition that the violation must be cured by the deadline specified in the notice and order or such other deadline as the director may deem reasonable. The director’s decision to grant, deny, or partially grant a request for a reduction in the amount of any monetary penalty shall be in writing. If the director’s written decision grants or partially grants a reduction in the amount of a monetary penalty, then the decision shall also specify the deadline by which the violation must be cured in order for the reduction in monetary penalties to be effective. If the violation is not cured by the specified deadline, then any reduction in the amount of monetary penalties granted pursuant to this subsection shall be void and the original amount of monetary penalties specified in the notice and order shall be due and owing.

(4) Request Additional Time and a Reduction in the Amount of Monetary Penalty. The recipient(s) of a notice and order may submit a written request to the county requesting both additional time in which to cure the violation and a reduction in the amount of the monetary penalty specified in the notice and order. Any such request shall explain why the circumstances surrounding the violation support both the request for additional time and the request to reduce the amount of the monetary penalty. The request shall propose a timeline or schedule pursuant to which the recipient of the notice and order will cure the violation. The director may agree to a reasonable proposal (a) requesting additional time, and/or (b) to reduce the monetary penalty by an appropriate amount, consistent with SCC 7.53.245, on the condition that the violation must be cured by the applicable deadline. The director’s decision to grant, deny, or partially grant a request for both additional time and a reduction in the amount of monetary penalties shall be in writing. If the director’s written decision grants or partially grants a reduction in the amount of a monetary penalty, then the decision shall also specify the deadline by which the violation must be cured in order for the reduction in monetary penalties to be effective. If the violation is not cured by the specified deadline, then any reduction in the amount of monetary penalties granted pursuant to this subsection shall be void and the original amount of monetary penalties specified in the notice and order shall be due and owing.

(5) Contest the Notice and Order. The recipient(s) of a notice and order may contest the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of the notice and order by appealing the notice and order to the hearing examiner within 30 calendar days from the date of receiving the notice and order. Any such appeal must be made in writing and must contain the elements described in SCC 2.02.125, except that no filing fee shall be required. The appeal documents may be delivered either to the department of planning and development services or directly to the office of the hearing examiner. Any appeal documents delivered to the department of planning and development services shall be transmitted to the office of the hearing examiner within three business days.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.208 Revised notice and order.

(1) Consistent with SCC 7.53.190(4), a revised notice and order may be issued to the person(s) responsible for a violation for the purpose of adjusting the amount of monetary penalty imposed in the original notice and order to include costs incurred by the county in investigating and enforcing remediation of the violation. A revised notice and order shall clearly reference the original notice and order that is being revised. The issuance of a revised notice and order does not affect the validity or issuance date of the original notice and order.

(2) The recipient(s) of a revised notice and order shall respond to the revised notice and order in one of the following ways:

(a) Pay the Additional Amount of Penalties in a Timely Manner. The recipient(s) of a revised notice and order may pay the increased amount of monetary penalties to the county within the longest of the following time periods: (i) within 30 calendar days of receiving the revised notice and order, (ii) by the deadline specified in the revised notice and order, if any, (iii) by any extended deadline for payment of the original monetary penalty that has been agreed to by the director pursuant to SCC 7.53.205, or (iv) if the original notice and order was timely appealed, then by the deadline for payment of the original monetary penalty that is specified in the final order resulting from the appeal, as described in SCC 7.53.235.

(b) Contest the Revised Notice and Order. The recipient(s) of a revised notice and order may contest the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of the increased amount of monetary penalties imposed by the revised notice and order by appealing the revised notice and order to the hearing examiner within 30 calendar days of receiving the revised notice and order. The scope of such appeal shall be strictly limited to the accuracy, validity, and appropriateness of the increased amount of monetary penalties imposed by the revised notice and order. Any such appeal must be made in writing and must contain the elements described in SCC 2.02.125, except that no filing fee shall be required. Any appeal documents delivered to the department of planning and development services shall be transmitted to the office of the hearing examiner within three business days. If an appeal of the original notice and order is pending with the hearing examiner, the hearing examiner shall have discretion to consolidate the appeals.

(3) To the extent applicable, the provisions of SCC 7.53.215, 7.53.225, 7.53.235 and 7.53.238 shall each apply to a revised notice and order, just as they apply to an original notice and order.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.210 Joint and several liability.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.215 Hearing examiner process for appeal of notice and order.

(1) Except as expressly provided to the contrary in this chapter, the provisions of chapter 2.02 SCC and any applicable rules adopted by the hearing examiner shall govern the appeal of a notice and order.

(2) Unless an appeal of a notice and order is summarily dismissed by the hearing examiner, the hearing examiner shall hold a public hearing regarding the appeal within 30 business days of the date on which the hearing examiner received the appeal.

(3) The hearing examiner shall issue a decision regarding the notice and order promptly after the conclusion of the hearing, consistent with timelines established by chapter 2.02 SCC.

(4) Should the appellant(s) of a notice and order fail to appear at the public hearing regarding the notice and order, the hearing examiner shall issue a decision dismissing the appeal. In that event, the notice and order shall become a final determination of the following: (a) that the violation described in the notice and order occurred; (b) that the person(s) identified in the notice and order as being responsible for the violation are the responsible person(s); and (c) that the amount of any monetary penalty set forth in the notice and order is reasonable and affirmed. For good cause shown, the hearing examiner may set aside a decision entered upon an appellant’s failure to appear.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.220 Voluntary compliance agreements.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Ord. 08-091, July 30, 2008, Eff date Aug. 21, 2008; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.225 Appeal under LUPA.

A notice and order constitutes a "land use decision" as that term is defined in the Land Use Petition Act, chapter 36.70C RCW ("LUPA"). An appeal of a notice and order to the hearing examiner under SCC 7.53.205(5) constitutes an administrative appeal of the department’s land use decision. The hearing examiner’s final decision regarding appeal of a notice and order is the final decision of the county regarding the violation described in the notice and order, and is appealable to superior court under LUPA. As provided in RCW 36.70C.040, appeals under LUPA must be filed within 21 days of the date on which the challenged decision is issued.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.230 Appeal.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.235 Final order.

A final order constitutes a conclusive determination that a violation occurred, that the specified person(s) are responsible for the violation, that any monetary penalty imposed is valid and must be paid to the county, and that administrative and judicial options to appeal the determination are exhausted. Unless a different timeline is set forth in the final order or agreed to in writing by the director, the responsible person(s) must comply with a final order within 30 calendar days of the date on which the order becomes final.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.238 Failure to comply with final order.

If the person(s) responsible for a violation under a final order do not fully comply with the final order within the required time period, the county may take any one or more of the following actions to cause the responsible person(s) to comply:

(1) Institute a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the final order, to collect the monetary penalties imposed pursuant to this chapter, or both;

(2) Engage a collection agency, as defined in chapter 19.16 RCW, to collect the monetary penalties imposed pursuant to this chapter, in which event the reasonable costs of collection shall be added to the amount of monetary penalty due;

(3) Abate and remediate the violation in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and other applicable law and charge the costs of such abatement to the responsible person(s) as additional monetary penalties owing under SCC 7.53.190(4);

(4) Cause the responsible person(s) to be criminally prosecuted as provided in SCC 7.53.242; or

(5) Pursue other remedies allowed by law.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.240 No county liability.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.242 Criminal prosecution.

Any person who willfully or knowingly causes or maintains a violation under this chapter or who willfully or knowingly fails or refuses to remediate a violation under this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished in the manner provided for in RCW 9A.20.021, as it now exists or is hereafter amended.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.245 Reduction of monetary penalties.

Monetary penalties imposed pursuant to this chapter may be reduced or waived under the circumstances and in the amounts specified below:

(1) The director shall waive any monetary penalties, or portions thereof, imposed due to mistake or error of the county.

(2) As provided in SCC 7.53.205(1), the director shall waive in full any monetary penalties associated with a violation if the responsible person(s) remediate the violation within the time period specified in the notice and order.

(3) SCC 7.53.205(2), (3) and (4) provide the director with discretion to conditionally reduce the monetary penalties associated with a violation under specified circumstances. The director shall exercise this discretion based on consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the violation at issue, including, but not limited to, the severity of the violation, the magnitude of the public interest being protected, and the willingness of the responsible person(s) to correct the violation once made aware of the violation. If the director determines it is appropriate and fair to reduce the monetary penalties associated with a violation, the director shall also have discretion to determine the amount by which monetary penalties should be reduced.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.247 No county liability.

Administration or enforcement of this chapter shall not be construed to impose or create a basis for any liability on the part of the county, its appointed or elected officials, officers, agents, or employees, nor shall this chapter be construed to create any special relationship with or otherwise protect any specific person or class of persons.

(Added by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.250 Immunity from suit.

(1) Any county appointed or elected officials, officers, agents or employees charged with the administration or enforcement of this chapter acting in good faith and without malice on behalf of the county shall not be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required by the county, or by any reason of any act or omission in the discharge of those duties.

(2) Any suit brought against county appointed or elected officials, officers, agents or employees because of an act or omission performed in the administration or enforcement of any provision of this chapter shall be defended by the county subject to the provisions of SCC 2.90.085.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.260 Compliance with other laws.

Compliance with this chapter does not constitute a waiver of the requirements of any other applicable federal, state or local laws and regulations.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).

7.53.600 Sunset.

(Added Ord. 01-035, May 23, 2001, Eff date June 2, 2001; Amended Ord. 07-030, May 2, 2007, Eff date May 17, 2007; Repealed by Amended Ord. 13-023, April 17, 2013, Eff date April 28, 2013).