Chapter 14.40


14.40.010    State responsibility for administrative actions.

14.40.020    Notification of violation (NOV).

14.40.030    Consent orders.

14.40.040    Compliance orders.

14.40.050    Show cause hearing.

14.40.060    Cease and desist orders.

14.40.070    Emergency suspensions.

14.40.080    Termination of discharge (nonemergency).

14.40.090    Appeal procedures.

14.40.010 State responsibility for administrative actions.

The Department is charged with permitting and regulating SIUs discharging to the POTW. Except for emergency actions, it shall be the policy of the Director to coordinate actions in regard to control of such users with the Department until such time as a local pretreatment program for the City may be authorized by the state. Failure to conduct such coordination, however, shall not invalidate any action of the City authorized by this title. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.020 Notification of violation (NOV).

A. When the Director finds that a user has violated (or continues to violate) any provision of this title, or an order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, the Director may serve upon that user a written notice of violation (NOV). The Director may select any means of service that is reasonable under the circumstances.

B. Within 10 days of the receipt of the NOV, an explanation of the violation and a plan for the satisfactory correction and prevention thereof, to include specific required actions, shall be submitted by the user to the Director. Submission of this plan in no way relieves the user of liability for any violations occurring before or after receipt of the NOV. Nothing in this chapter shall limit the authority of the City to take any action, including emergency actions or any other enforcement action, without first issuing an NOV. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.030 Consent orders.

The Director may enter into consent orders, assurances of voluntary compliance, or other similar documents establishing an agreement with any user responsible for noncompliance. Such documents will include specific action to be taken by the user to correct the noncompliance within a time period specified by the document. Such documents shall have the same force and effect as the administrative orders issued pursuant to MTMC 14.40.040 and 14.40.060 and shall be judicially enforceable. Use of a consent order shall not be a bar against, or prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.040 Compliance orders.

A. Whenever the Director finds that a user has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this title, or order issued hereunder, the Director may issue a compliance order to the user responsible for the violation. The order shall direct that adequate pretreatment facilities, devices, or other related appurtenances be installed and properly operated and maintained. The order shall specify that wastewater services, including collection and treatment, shall be discontinued and/or applicable penalties imposed unless, following a specified time period, the directed actions are taken.

B. Compliance orders may also contain such other requirements as might be reasonably necessary and appropriate to address the violation or noncompliance, including, but not limited to, the installation of pretreatment technology, additional self-monitoring, and management practices designed to minimize the amount of pollutants discharged to the POTW. A compliance order may not extend the deadline for compliance beyond any applicable state or federal deadlines, nor does an order release the user from liability from any past, present, or continuing violation(s). Issuance of a compliance order shall not be a prerequisite to taking any other action against the user. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.050 Show cause hearing.

The Director may order a user which has violated or continues to violate any provision of this title, or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, to appear before the Director and show cause why a proposed enforcement action should not be taken. Notice shall be served on the user specifying the time and place for the meeting, the proposed enforcement action, the reasons for such action, and a request that the user show cause why the proposed enforcement action should not be taken. The notice of the meeting shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Such notice may be served on any authorized representative of the user. A show cause hearing shall not be a bar against, or prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.060 Cease and desist orders.

A. When the Director finds that a user has violated (or continues to violate) any provision of this title, or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, or that the user’s past violations are likely to recur, the Director may issue an order to the user directing it to cease and desist all such violations and directing the user to:

1. Immediately cease such actions or discharges as described;

2. Comply with all applicable pretreatment standards and requirements;

3. Take such appropriate remedial or preventive action as may be needed to properly address a continuing or threatened violation, including halting operations and/or terminating the discharge.

B. Issuance of a cease and desist order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.070 Emergency suspensions.

A. The Director may immediately suspend a user’s discharge after oral or written notice to the user whenever such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge that reasonably appears to present or cause an imminent or substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare.

B. The Director may also immediately suspend a user’s discharge after notice and opportunity to respond that threatens to interfere with the operation of the POTW, or which presents or may present an endangerment to the environment.

C. Any user notified of a suspension of its discharge shall immediately stop or eliminate its contribution. In the event of a user’s failure to immediately comply voluntarily with the suspension order, the Director shall take such steps as deemed necessary, including immediate severance of the sewer connection, to prevent or minimize damage to the POTW, its receiving stream, or endangerment to any individuals.

The Director may allow the user to recommence its discharge when the user has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the City that the period of endangerment has passed, unless the termination proceedings in MTMC 14.40.080 are initiated against the user.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent or attempt to prevent the Director and/or City from terminating wastewater collection and treatment services in an emergency situation, by barring entry, by physically interfering with City employees or contractors, or by any other means.

E. A user that is responsible, in whole or in part, for any discharge presenting imminent endangerment shall submit a detailed written statement, describing the causes of the harmful contribution and the measures taken to prevent any future occurrence, to the Director prior to the date of any show cause or termination hearing under MTMC 14.40.050 and 14.40.080.

Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted as requiring a hearing prior to any emergency suspension under this chapter. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.080 Termination of discharge (nonemergency).

A. The Director shall have authority to terminate wastewater services, including collection and treatment, through the issuance of a termination order to any user upon determining that such user has:

1. Refused access allowed by this title thereby preventing the implementation of any purpose of this title;

2. Violated any provision of this title including the discharge prohibitions and standards of Chapter 14.10 MTMC; or

3. Violated any lawful order of the City issued with respect to this title.

B. For users holding permits to discharge to the POTW, violation of the following conditions is also grounds for terminating discharge services:

1. Violation of wastewater discharge permit conditions;

2. Failure to accurately report the wastewater constituents and characteristics of its discharge;

3. Failure to report significant changes in operations or wastewater volume, constituents and characteristics prior to discharge.

C. Such user will be notified of the proposed termination of its discharge and be offered an opportunity to show cause why the proposed action should not be taken. Exercise of this option by the City shall not be a bar to, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).

14.40.090 Appeal procedures.

A. Appeals.

1. Any user seeking to dispute a notice of violation, order, fine, or other action of the Director may file an appeal.

2. The appeal must be filed in writing and received by the Director, in writing, within 10 days of the receipt of the disputed action. If the Director does not receive the notice of appeal within the 10-day period, the right to an appeal is waived. The notice of appeal shall state with particularity the basis upon which the appellant is disputing the action taken.

3. Upon receipt of a timely appeal, the Director shall set a date and time for an appeal hearing before the City of Mountlake Terrace Hearing Examiner, but in no case shall the hearing be set more than 30 days from the receipt of the timely notice of appeal. The appellant shall be notified in writing of the date, time, and place for the appeal hearing.

B. Appeal Hearing.

1. The Hearing Examiner may admit and give probative effect to evidence that possesses probative value commonly accepted by reasonably prudent men in the conduct of their affairs. The Hearing Examiner shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. The Hearing Examiner may exclude incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial and unduly repetitious evidence. Factual issues shall be resolved by a preponderance of evidence.

2. Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts or by incorporation by reference.

3. Every party shall have the right to cross examine witnesses who testify and shall have the right to submit rebuttal evidence; provided, that the Hearing Examiner may control the manner and extent of the cross examinations and rebuttal.

4. The Hearing Examiner may take notice of judicially cognizable facts.

C. Appeal Conclusion. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall determine if the disputed action was proper, and shall approve, modify, or rescind the disputed action. The final determination of the Hearing Examiner shall be in writing, and all parties shall be provided a copy of the final determination.

D. Judicial Review of Appeal.

1. Any party, including the City, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or the user/appellant, is entitled to review of the Hearing Examiner’s final determination in the Snohomish County Superior Court; provided, that any petition for review shall be filed no later than 30 days after date of the final determination.

2. Copies of the petition for review shall be served as in all civil actions.

3. The filing of the petition shall not stay enforcement of the final determination except by order of the superior court and on posting of a bond to be determined by the court naming the City as beneficiary. (Ord. 2381 § 8, 2005).