Chapter 4-12


4-12-00F    Footnote to Chapter 4-12

4-12-010    Purpose

4-12-020    Definitions

4-12-030    Applicability

4-12-040    Authority

4-12-050    Responsibility for administration

4-12-060    Regulations

4-12-070    Prohibited activities

4-12-080    Exempt activities

4-12-090    Emergency suspension of storm drainage system access

4-12-100    Notification of spills

4-12-110    Enforcement

4-12-120    Severability

4-12-130    Transitional provisions

4-12-00F Footnote to Chapter 4-12

Adopted 4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30

4-12-010 Purpose

A.    Increased volumes of stormwater and contaminated stormwater runoff are major causes of impairment of water quality and reduced flow in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands and groundwater; contamination of drinking water supplies; alteration or destruction of aquatic and wildlife habitat; and flooding.

B.    The United States Environmental Protection Agency has identified land disturbance and polluted stormwater runoff as major sources of water pollution. Regulation of illicit connections and discharges to the municipal storm drain system is necessary for the protection of the town of Northborough’s water bodies and groundwater resources, and to safeguard the public health, safety, welfare and the natural resources of the town.

C.    The objectives of this bylaw are:

(1)    To prevent pollutants from entering the town of Northborough’s municipal storm drain system;

(2)    To prohibit illicit connections and unauthorized discharges to the municipal storm drain system;

(3)    To require the removal of all such illicit connections;

(4)    To comply with state and federal statutes and regulations relating to stormwater discharges; and

(5)    To establish the legal authority to ensure compliance with the provisions of this bylaw through inspection, monitoring, and enforcement.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-020 Definitions

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and implementation of this chapter:

AUTHORIZED ENFORCEMENT AGENCY - The highway department, its employees or agents designated to enforce this bylaw.

CLEAN WATER ACT - The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. Section 1251 et seq.) as hereafter amended.

CMR - The Code of Massachusetts Regulations.

DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS - The addition from any source of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into the municipal storm drain system or into the waters of the United States or Commonwealth from any source.

GROUNDWATER - Water beneath the surface of the ground including confined or unconfined aquifers.

ILLICIT CONNECTION - A surface or subsurface drain or conveyance which allows an illicit discharge into the municipal storm drain system, including without limitation sewage, process wastewater, or wash water and any connections from indoor drains, sinks, or toilets, regardless of whether said connection was previously allowed, permitted, or approved before the effective date of this bylaw.

ILLICIT DISCHARGE - Direct or indirect discharge to the municipal storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except as exempted in Section 4-12-080. The term does not include a discharge in compliance with an NPDES Storm Water Discharge Permit or a Surface Water Discharge Permit, or resulting from fire-fighting activities exempted pursuant to Section 4‑12-080 of this bylaw.

MGL - The Massachusetts General Laws.

MUNICIPAL STORM DRAIN SYSTEM or MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM (MS4) - The system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, including any road with a drainage system, street, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, natural or manmade or altered drainage channel, reservoir, and other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the town of Northborough.

NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) STORM WATER DISCHARGE PERMIT - A permit issued by United States Environmental Protection Agency or jointly with the State that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.

NONSTORMWATER DISCHARGE - Discharge to the municipal storm drain system not composed entirely of stormwater.

PERSON - An individual, partnership, association, firm, company, trust, corporation, agency, authority, department or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or the federal government, to the extent permitted by law, and any officer, employee, or agent of such person.

POLLUTANT - Any element or property of sewage, agricultural, industrial or commercial waste, runoff, leachate, heated effluent, or other matter whether originating at a point or nonpoint source, that is considered toxic to humans or the environment and may be introduced into any sewage treatment works or waters of the Commonwealth. Pollutants shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)    Paints, varnishes, and solvents;

(2)    Oil and other automotive fluids;

(3)    Nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes;

(4)    Refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, ordnances, accumulations and floatables;

(5)    Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers;

(6)    Hazardous materials and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens;

(7)    Dissolved and particulate metals;

(8)    Animal wastes;

(9)    Rock, sand, salt, soils;

(10)    Construction wastes and residues; and

(11)    Noxious or offensive matter of any kind.

PROCESS WASTEWATER - Water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any material, intermediate product, finished product, or waste product.

STORMWATER - Runoff from precipitation or snow melt.

SURFACE WATER DISCHARGE PERMIT - A permit issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to 314 CMR 3.00 that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

TOXIC or HAZARDOUS MATERIAL or WASTE - Any material which, because of its quantity, concentration, chemical, corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious or radioactive characteristics, either separately or in combination with any substance or substances, constitutes a present or potential threat to human health, safety, welfare, or to the environment. Toxic or hazardous materials include any synthetic organic chemical, petroleum product, heavy metal, radioactive or infectious waste, acid and alkali, and any substance defined as toxic or hazardous under MGL C. 21C and MGL C. 21E, and the regulations at 310 CMR 30.000 and 310 CMR 40.0000.

WASTEWATER - Any sanitary waste, sludge, or septic tank or cesspool overflow, and water that during manufacturing, cleaning or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished product, by-product or waste product.

WATERCOURSE - A natural or manmade channel through which water flows or a stream of water, including a river, brook or underground stream.

WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH - All waters within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, including, without limitation, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, springs, impoundments, estuaries, wetlands, coastal waters, and groundwater.

WETLANDS - Coastal and freshwater wetlands, including wet meadows, marshes, swamps, and bogs, as defined and determined pursuant to MGL C. 131, Section 40 and 310 CMR 10.00 et seq.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-030 Applicability

This bylaw shall apply to flows entering the municipal storm drainage system.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-040 Authority

This bylaw is adopted under the authority granted by the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution and the Home Rule Procedures Act, and pursuant to the regulations of the federal Clean Water Act found at 40 CFR 122.34.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-050 Responsibility for administration

The highway department shall administer, implement and enforce this bylaw. Any powers granted to or duties imposed upon the authorized enforcement agency may be delegated in writing by the authorized enforcement agency to employees or agents of the authorized enforcement agency.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-060 Regulations

The highway department may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this bylaw. Failure by the highway department to promulgate such rules and regulations shall not have the effect of suspending or invalidating this bylaw.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-070 Prohibited activities

A.    Illicit discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause or allow to be discharged any pollutant or nonstormwater discharge into the municipal storm drain system, into a watercourse, or into the waters of the Commonwealth.

B.    Illicit connections. No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drain system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation or custom at the time of connection.

C.    Obstruction of municipal storm drain system. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the municipal storm drain system without prior written approval from the highway department.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-080 Exempt activities

A.    Discharge or flow resulting from fire-fighting activities.

B.    The following nonstormwater discharges or flows are exempt from this bylaw; provided, that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the municipal storm drain system:

(1)    Waterline flushing;

(2)    Flow from potable water sources;

(3)    Springs;

(4)    Natural flow from riparian habitats and wetlands;

(5)    Diverted stream flow;

(6)    Rising groundwater;

(7)    Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration as defined in 40 CFR 35.2005(20), or uncontaminated pumped groundwater;

(8)    Water from exterior foundation drains, footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, or air conditioning condensation;

(9)    Discharge from landscape irrigation or lawn watering;

(10)    Water from individual residential car washing;

(11)    Discharge from dechlorinated swimming pool water (less than one (1) ppm chlorine), provided the water is allowed to stand for one (1) week prior to draining or test data is submitted to the town prior to draining substantiating that the water meets the one (1) ppm standard and the pool is drained in such a way as not to cause a nuisance or public safety issue and complies with all applicable town bylaws;

(12)    Discharge from street sweeping;

(13)    Dye testing, provided written notification is given to the highway department prior to the time of the test;

(14)    Nonstormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit or a Surface Water Discharge Permit, waiver, or waste discharge order administered under the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Environmental Protection; provided, that the discharge is in full compliance with the requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and applicable laws and regulations; and

(15)    Discharge for which advanced written approval is received from the highway department as necessary to protect public health, safety, welfare or the environment.

C.    Discharge or flow that results from exigent conditions and occurs during a public health emergency declared by any agency of the federal or state government, or by the town administrator, board of selectmen or board of health.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-090 Emergency suspension of storm drainage system access

The highway department may suspend municipal storm drain system access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge of pollutants that presents imminent risk of harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the highway department may take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-100 Notification of spills

Notwithstanding other requirements of local, state or federal law, as soon as a person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation, has information of or suspects a release of materials at that facility or operation resulting in or which may result in discharge of pollutants to the municipal drainage system or waters of the Commonwealth, the person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the person shall immediately notify the municipal fire and police departments and the highway department. In the event of a release of nonhazardous material, the reporting person shall notify the highway department no later than the next business day. The reporting person shall provide to the authorized enforcement agency written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile or in-person notifications within three (3) business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or operator of the facility shall retain on site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three (3) years.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-110 Enforcement

The highway department or an authorized agent of the highway department shall enforce this bylaw, regulations, orders, violation notices, and enforcement orders, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.

A.    Civil relief. If a person violates the provisions of this bylaw, regulations, permit, notice, or order issued thereunder, the highway department may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.

B.    Orders.

(1)    The highway department or an authorized agent of the highway department may issue a written order to enforce the provisions of this by-law or the regulations thereunder, which may include:

(a)    Elimination of illicit connections or discharges to the municipal storm drain system;

(b)    Performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;

(c)    That unlawful discharges, practices, or operations shall cease and desist; and

(d)    Remediation of contamination in connection therewith.

(2)    If the highway department determines that abatement or remediation of contamination is required, the order shall set forth a deadline by which such abatement or remediation must be completed. Said order shall further advise that, should the violator or property owner fail to abate or perform remediation within the specified deadline, the town of Northborough may, at its option, undertake such work, and all costs incurred by the town of Northborough shall be charged to the violator, to be recouped through all available means, including the placement of liens on the property.

(3)    Within thirty (30) days after completing all measures necessary to abate the violation or to perform remediation, the violator and the property owner will be notified of the costs incurred by the town of Northborough, including administrative costs. The violator or property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount or basis of costs with the highway department within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notification of the costs incurred. If the amount due is not received by the expiration of the time in which to file a protest or within thirty (30) days following a decision of the highway department affirming or reducing the costs, or from a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the costs shall become a special assessment against the property owner and shall constitute a lien on the owner’s property for the amount of said costs. Interest shall begin to accrue on any unpaid costs at the statutory rate provided in MGL C. 59 Section 57 after the thirty-first day at which the costs first become due.

C.    Criminal penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this bylaw, regulation, order or permit issued thereunder shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00). Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.

D.    Noncriminal disposition. As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the town of Northborough may elect to utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL C. 40 Section 21D, in which case the highway department or other authorized agent of the highway department shall be the enforcing person. The penalty for the first violation shall be a written warning. The penalty for the second violation shall be fifty dollars ($50.00). The penalty for the third and subsequent violations shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00). Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.

E.    Entry to perform duties under this bylaw. To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the highway department, its agents, officers, and employees may enter upon privately owned property, for the purpose of performing their duties under this bylaw and regulations and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the highway department deems reasonably necessary.

F.    Appeals. The decisions or orders of the highway department shall be final. Further relief shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction.

G.    Remedies not exclusive. The remedies listed in this bylaw are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-120 Severability

The provisions of this bylaw are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this bylaw 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 bylaw.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)

4-12-130 Transitional provisions

Residential property owners shall have one hundred eighty (180) days from the effective date of the bylaw to comply with its provisions, provided good cause is shown for the failure to comply with the bylaw during that period.

(4-29-08 ATM, Art. 30)