Chapter 15.66


15.66.010    Introduction – Purpose.

15.66.020    Definitions.

15.66.030    Applicability.

15.66.040    Severability.

15.66.050    Ultimate responsibility.

15.66.060    Permit.

15.66.070    Review and approval.

15.66.080    SWPPP requirements.

15.66.090    Inspection.

15.66.100    Notification of spills.

15.66.110    Enforcement.

15.66.120    Notice of violation.

15.66.130    Appeal of notice of violation.

15.66.140    Enforcement measures after appeal.

15.66.150    Cost of abatement of the violation.

15.66.160    Injunctive relief.

15.66.170    Compensatory action.

15.66.180    Violations deemed a public nuisance.

15.66.190    Criminal prosecution.

15.66.200    Remedies not exclusive.

15.66.010 Introduction – Purpose.

When vegetation is removed or soil is disturbed during the construction process, soil is highly vulnerable to erosion by wind and water. The sediment produced from this erosion endangers water resources by reducing water quality and causing the siltation of aquatic habitat for fish and other desirable species. Sedimentation of storm sewers and ditches also increases maintenance costs to the City of North Pole.

The City of North Pole, city of Fairbanks, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities – Northern Region collectively received a Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit (hereafter “permit”) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 1, 2005, to discharge from all municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) into receiving waters, which includes Beaver Springs, Chena River, Chena Slough, Noyes Slough, and other associated waters of the U.S. The permit requires the aforementioned agencies to develop, implement, and enforce a local storm water runoff plan review and inspection program to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff from construction activities within the Fairbanks urbanized area. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to empower the City of North Pole to meet the requirements of the permit within the urbanized area of the City of North Pole, as mandated by the EPA. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) assumed authority over the permit in October 2009 under the Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) program. The original permit conditions remain in effect. The objective of this chapter, to the maximum extent practicable, is to reduce the discharge of sediment and other pollutants resulting from construction activities to the MS4 and waters of the U.S. This chapter will also promote public and environmental welfare by guiding, regulating, and controlling the design, construction, use, and maintenance of any development or other activity that disturbs or breaks the topsoil or results in the movement of earth on land in the City of North Pole. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.020 Definitions.

Alaska Pollution Discharge Elimination System (APDES) Program. In 2008, the State of Alaska applied to implement the NPDES Program. The EPA approved the application and agreed to transfer program authority to the State over four phases. The State’s program is called the Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) Program and is administered by ADEC. The initial phase transferred in 2008 and included domestic discharges, log storage and transfer facilities, seafood processing facilities, and hatcheries. Phase II was completed in 2009 and included Federal facilities, storm water, wastewater pretreatment programs, and nondomestic discharges. Phase III was completed in 2010 to include mining activities. November 1, 2012, marked the completion of Phase IV and included wastewater permitting for the oil and gas industry, pesticides, munitions, and any other facilities that had not yet been transferred. New (APDES) regulations were adopted at 18 AAC 83, along with subsequent amendments effective October 23, 2008.

“Best management practices (BMPs)” means schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution to the MS4 and waters of the U.S. 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 (CWA)” means the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 USC Section 1251 et seq.), and any subsequent amendments thereto.

“Construction activity” means activities including, but not limited to, clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating, and demolition.

“Design criteria” means the design requirement that BMPs used during construction shall be designed to handle the two-year, six-hour duration storm event without failure of the BMPs and without any degradation to water quality of the receiving water.

“Fairbanks urbanized area” means the area of the Fairbanks North Star Borough delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau consisting of contiguous, densely settled census block groups and census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements, along with adjacent densely settled census blocks that together encompass a population of fifty thousand people; as named by the U.S. Census Bureau on May 1, 2002 (67 FR 21962).

“Hazardous materials” means any material, including any substance, waste, or combination thereof, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, biological, 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.

“Maximum extent practicable” means the discharge standard that uses best available technology and methods in order to reduce pollutants entering waters of the U.S. as established by CWA Section 402(p).

“Municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4)” means the conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, manmade channels, or storm drains):

A.    Designed or used for collecting or conveying storm water;

B.    Which is not a combined sewer;

C.    Which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works; and

D.    Which discharges to waters of the U.S.

“National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)” means the national program for issuing, modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating, monitoring and enforcing permits, and imposing and enforcing pretreatment requirements, under CWA Sections 307, 318, 402, and 405.

“Pollutant” means anything that causes or contributes to pollution including, but not limited to: dredged spoil, solid waste, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, chemical wastes, biological materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, and industrial or municipal waste.

“Storm water” means any surface flow, runoff, and drainage consisting entirely of water from any form of natural precipitation, and resulting from such precipitation, including ice and snow melt runoff.

“Storm water pollution prevention plan” (SWPPP) means a document that describes the BMPs and activities to be implemented by a person or business to identify sources of pollution or contamination at a site, and the actions to eliminate or reduce pollutant discharges to storm water, storm water conveyance systems, and/or receiving waters to the maximum extent practicable. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.030 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to all ground disturbances of one acre or greater within the urbanized area of the City of North Pole for development projects funded by the private sector, including private development where all or part of the project will be transferred to the City of North Pole at a later date (i.e., roads and associated right-of-way within new subdivisions). (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.040 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this chapter or the application thereof to any person, establishment, or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or application of this chapter. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.050 Ultimate responsibility.

The standards set forth herein and promulgated pursuant to this chapter are minimum standards; therefore, this chapter does not intend nor imply that compliance by any person will ensure that there will be no contamination, pollution, nor unauthorized discharge of pollutants. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.060 Permit.

No person shall be granted a residential or commercial building permit for construction activity that will result in a ground disturbance of greater than or equal to one acre, or result in a ground disturbance less than one acre but will be part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will collectively disturb more than one acre, without the submission of a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) meeting the requirements set forth in this chapter, and approval by the City of North Pole.

An SWPPP is not required for the following activities:

A.    Any emergency activity that is immediately necessary for the protection of life, property, or natural resources.

B.    Routine maintenance that is performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of a facility.

C.    Existing nursery and agricultural operations conducted as a permitted main or accessory use.

D.    Small construction activities (less than five acres) meeting the requirements for a rainfall erosivity waiver, total maximum daily load waiver, equivalent analysis waiver, or other waiver detailed in the most recently issued EPA construction general permit. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.070 Review and approval.

The City of North Pole will review each SWPPP to determine its conformance with the provisions of this chapter. Within ten business days after receiving a SWPPP, the City of North Pole shall, in writing:

A.    Issue a letter of nonobjection to the SWPPP;

B.    Issue a letter of nonobjection to the SWPPP subject to such reasonable conditions as may be necessary to secure substantially the objectives of this chapter, and issue the permit subject to these conditions; or

C.    Disapprove the SWPPP, indicating the reason(s) and procedure for submitting a revised application and/or submission. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.080 SWPPP requirements.

The SWPPP shall, at a minimum, meet the following requirements:

A.    Conformance to the most recently issued ADEC APDES construction general permit (CGP) and any existing permit stipulations.

B.    Conformance to any additional standards adopted by the City of North Pole necessary to ensure that construction site operators practice adequate erosion, sediment, and waste control.

C.    Be developed by a certified professional in storm water management or a professional engineer registered in the State of Alaska.

D.    Meet the design criteria that BMPs used during construction shall be designed to handle the two-year, six-hour duration storm event without failure of the BMPs and without any degradation to water quality of the receiving water.

E.    Include a copy of the notice of intent submitted to the ADEC.

F.    Include a signed statement that any land clearing, construction, or development involving the movement of earth shall be in accordance with the SWPPP.

G.    Include the name(s) and address(es) of the owner or developer of the site, and of any consulting firm retained by the applicant together with the name of the applicant’s principal contact at such firm.

H.    Include payment of the SWPPP plan review fee in the amount prescribed by the City of North Pole.

I.    Include payment of the construction site inspection fee in the amount prescribed by the City of North Pole.

J.    The SWPPP must be kept on site and contain a record of the implementation of the SWPPP and other permit requirements, including the installation and maintenance of BMPs, site inspections, and storm water monitoring. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.090 Inspection.

The City of North Pole will inspect each permitted construction site at least once per year. Access to a construction site for inspection shall not be denied. In addition to other available penalties, any permit issued under this chapter may be immediately suspended until an inspection is conducted. If, during construction, the City of North Pole finds that BMPs are improperly installed, not maintained, or inappropriate for proper erosion, sediment and waste control, any permit issued under this chapter may be immediately suspended until the identified problem is resolved. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.100 Notification of spills.

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 storm water, the storm drainage system, or waters of the U.S., 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 City of North Pole in person or by phone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by phone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the City of North Pole within three business days of the phone notice. If the discharge of prohibited materials emanates from a commercial or industrial establishment, the owner or operator of such establishment shall also retain an on-site written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.110 Enforcement.

No person shall construct, enlarge, alter, repair, or maintain any grading, excavation, or fill, or cause the same to be done, contrary to or in violation of any terms of this chapter. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and each day during which any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is committed, continued, or permitted shall constitute a separate 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 chapter shall be required to bear the expense of such restoration.

In the event that any person holding a residential or commercial building permit pursuant to this chapter violates the terms of the permit or implements site development in such a manner as to materially adversely affect the health, welfare, or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood or development site so as to be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the neighborhood, the City of North Pole may issue a notice of violation, suspend, or revoke the permit. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.120 Notice of violation.

Whenever the City of North Pole finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this chapter, the City of North Pole may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person. Such notice may require without limitation:

A.    The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;

B.    The elimination of construction storm water discharges, illicit connections or discharges;

C.    That violating discharges, practices, or operations shall cease and desist;

D.    The abatement or remediation of storm water pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property; and

E.    Payment of a fine to cover administrative and remediation costs; and

F.    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 affected property 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. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.130 Appeal of notice of violation.

Any person receiving a notice of violation may appeal the determination of the City of North Pole. The notice of appeal must be received within thirty days from the date of the notice of violation. Hearing on the appeal before the appropriate authority or his/her designee shall take place within fifteen days from the date of receipt of the notice of appeal. The decision of the City of North Pole or its designee shall be final. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.140 Enforcement measures after appeal.

If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to the requirements set forth in the notice of violation, or, in the event of an appeal, within thirty days of a decision by the City of North Pole, then the City of North Pole shall enter upon the subject private property, and is authorized to take any and all measures necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property. It shall be unlawful for any person, owner, agent or person in possession of any premises to refuse to allow the City of North Pole or designated contractor to enter upon the premises for the purposes set forth above. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.150 Cost of abatement of the violation.

Within ninety days after abatement of the violation, the owner of the property will be notified of the cost of abatement, including administrative costs. The property owner may file a written protest to the City of North Pole objecting to the amount of the assessment within fourteen days. If the amount due is not paid within a timely manner as determined by the decision of the City of North Pole or by the expiration of the time in which to file an appeal, the charges shall become a special assessment against the property and shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of the assessment. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall become liable to the City of North Pole by reason of such violation. Interest as allowable by law shall be assessed on the balance beginning on the ninety-first day following discovery of the violation. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.160 Injunctive relief.

It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision or fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter. If a person has violated or continues to violate the provisions of this chapter, the City of North Pole may petition for a preliminary or permanent injunction restraining the person from activities that would create further violations, or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.170 Compensatory action.

In lieu of enforcement proceedings, penalties, and remedies authorized by this chapter, the City of North Pole may impose upon a violator alternative compensatory actions, such as storm drain stenciling, attendance at compliance workshops, stream cleanup, etc. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.180 Violations deemed a public nuisance.

In addition to the enforcement processes and penalties provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is a threat to public health, safety, and welfare, and is declared and deemed a nuisance, and may be summarily abated or restored at the violator’s expense, and/or a civil action to abate may be taken to enjoin or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.190 Criminal prosecution.

Any person that has violated or continues to violate this chapter shall be liable to criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law, and shall be subject to criminal penalties and/or imprisonment.

The City of North Pole may recover all attorney’s fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with enforcement of this chapter, including sampling and monitoring expenses. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)

15.66.200 Remedies not exclusive.

The remedies listed in this chapter are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable Federal, State or local law, and it is within the discretion of the City of North Pole to seek cumulative remedies. (Ord. 17-13 § 2, 2017)