Chapter 16.04


16.04.010    Definitions.

16.04.020    Creation of stormwater utility – Authority.

16.04.030    Governing body and management of stormwater utility.

16.04.040    Ownership of stormwater facilities.

16.04.050    Severability.

16.04.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this title of the Richland Municipal Code (RMC), the following definitions apply:

“Best management practices” or “BMP” is the schedule of activities, general housekeeping practices, pollution prevention and education practices, maintenance practices, stormwater treatment facilities and practices, waste handling practices and their management practices identified in the most recent version of the Stormwater Management Manual of Eastern Washington (SWMMEW) or approved by the director.

“City” shall mean the city of Richland, Washington, a municipal corporation.

“Clean Water Act” is the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 USC 251 et seq.) and any subsequent amendment.

“Clearing” means any activity that removes the vegetative land cover.

“Commercial property” shall mean all properties other than single-family residential properties containing more than 1,000 square feet of impervious area.

“Condominium,” also known as “condo” or “townhouse,” is a single-family dwelling which may be connected or adjacent to other condos in a facility that shares parking lot area, landscaping and often shares utility services such as refuse and water. Condominiums are privately owned buildings and are recorded as such with the Benton County auditor’s office. The parcel the condo resides within is jointly owned by the individual condo owners.

“Construction activities” means any activities subject to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) construction permits. These include construction projects resulting in land disturbance of one acre or more. Such activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating and demolition.

“Director” shall mean the public works director or his designee.

“Discharge” means adding, introducing, releasing, leaking, spilling, casting, throwing or emitting any substance where it is likely to enter an MS4 or waters of the state.

“Ecology” is the Washington State Department of Ecology.

“Equivalent residential unit” or “ERU” means and shall be equal to 3,000 square feet of impervious area and is the measure of impervious area to be used by the utility in assessing service charges against each parcel of property.

“Erosion” means the process by which ground surface is worn away by action of wind, water, ice or gravity.

“Erosivity waiver” is a technical standard that measures the potential of a construction activity to adversely impact water quality. Washington State has adopted a standard published by the University of Texas and made accessible on Ecology’s website.

“Final acceptance” means acceptance of a project by the city of Richland via a letter of acceptance, certificate of occupancy (C of O) or a final plat approval and recordation, whichever is applicable.

“Floodplain” shall mean a parcel of land lying within the Yakima River floodplain as defined by the latest version of the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map.

“Grading” means any excavation or fill of soils material.

“Hazardous materials” means any material including any substance, waste or combination thereof, which because of its quantity, concentration or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may cause or significantly contribute to a substantial present or potential hazard to human health, safety, property or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of or otherwise managed.

“Housing unit” shall mean a building or portion thereof designed as a residence or the living quarters of one or more persons living together, or of one family.

“Illegal discharge” means any direct or indirect non-stormwater discharge to the city’s MS4 system and/or waters of the state.

“Illicit connections” means any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows an illegal discharge to enter the storm drain system regardless of whether said drain or connection had been previously allowed, permitted or approved by the city or any government agency.

“Impervious area” means those surfaced areas which prevent or retard the entry of water into the soil in the manner that such water entered the soil under natural conditions preexistent to development, or which cause water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow than what would have occurred under natural conditions preexistent to development, including but not limited to such compacted or covered surfaces as rooftops, asphalt or concrete sidewalks, paved driveways and parking lots, walkways, patio areas, storage areas, and compacted gravel, oiled macadam or other surfaces which similarly affect the natural infiltration or runoff patterns existing prior to development.

“Mixed-use” refers to customers that are both residential and commercial and share a utility service; for example, a facility that has commercial businesses on the street level and residential units above the businesses.

“MS4” is the city’s municipal storm sewer system.

“Non-stormwater discharge” is any discharge to the storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.

“NPDES permit” means the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater discharge permit and is issued by the EPA or the state of Washington under authority delegated pursuant to 33 USC 1342(b) that authorizes discharge of pollutants to waters of the state.

“Operator” is the individual who has day-to-day supervision and control of activities. This can be the owner, the developer, the general contractor or the agent of one of these parties.

“Owner” shall mean the property owner of record, according to the Benton County auditor’s office.

“Permanent stormwater facility” is stormwater infrastructure that is expected to remain in service for at least 10 years with no expected change.

“Permittee” is any person who has been granted a city of Richland stormwater construction permit and has in full force and effect a stormwater permit issued hereunder.

“Pollutant” means anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; oil and other automotive fluids; nonhazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, ordinances, and accumulations, so that same may cause or contribute to pollution; floatables; pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; hazardous substances and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens; dissolved and particulate metals; animal wastes; wastes and residues that result from constructing a building or structure; wastes and residues that result from mobile washing operations; and noxious or offensive matter of any kind.

“Pollution” is the presence in waters of the state of any substances, contaminants, pollutants, or manmade or man-induced impairment of waters or alteration of the chemical, physical, biological, or radiological integrity of water in quantities or at levels which are or may be potentially harmful or injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property or which unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property, including outdoor recreation unless authorized by applicable law.

“Post-construction” means after completion of construction as documented by issuance of final acceptance by the city.

“Premises” is any building, lot, parcel or tract of land, or portion thereof, whether improved or not improved and including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.

“Privately owned” means property not owned by a government agency.

“Receiving waters” means any water of the state of Washington, including all surface waters that are contained in or flow in or through the state of Washington, all watercourses even if they are usually dry, irrigation ditches and storm sewer systems owned by the city or other entities.

“Record drawings” is a set of construction drawings stamped by a professional engineer documenting the completed construction project.

“Redevelopment” means any construction, alteration or improvement performed on a previously developed site.

“Residential property” or “residential properties” shall mean any parcel of land upon which is constructed a structure designed to provide a housing unit to one or more persons or families, including detached single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, condos and manufactured homes.

“Runoff” means water that does not soak into the soil or is not absorbed by soil but flows over the ground surface.

“Sediment” means soils or other particulate materials that have been disturbed, eroded or otherwise separated from parent materials and transported or deposited by the action of wind, water, ice or gravity, by illegal dumping or mechanically by any person.

“Sediment control” are measures that prevent eroded sediment from leaving the site.

“Site” means the land or water area where any facility or activity is physically located or conducted, including adjacent land used in connection with the facility or activity.

“Spill” is a release of solid or liquid material, which may cause pollution of the MS4 or waters of the state.

“Stabilization” are the practices used to prevent exposed soil from eroding.

“Storm drain system” means the city’s municipal storm sewer system (MS4) and the Port of Benton’s storm sewer system that discharges to the waters of the state.

“Stormwater” means runoff during and following precipitation and snowmelt events, including surface runoff, drainage and interflow.

“Stormwater construction permit” is the city’s authorization for an applicant to conduct activities and to construct or install a stormwater system for the purpose of retaining, detaining or transporting stormwater whether it be on private property or within a public right-of-way or easement.

“Stormwater management plan (SWMP)” is a document that describes the best management practices and activities to be implemented by an owner or operator during the construction activities, which identifies sources of pollution or contamination at a site and the actions to eliminate or reduce pollutant discharges to stormwater, stormwater conveyance systems, and/or receiving waters.

“Subdivision development” includes activities associated with the platting of any parcel of land into two or more lots and all construction activity taking place thereon.

“Utility” shall mean the stormwater utility, a utility authorized to own, maintain, operate and preserve all the storm drainage system and related facilities.

“Utility agency and/or contractor” means public or private utility companies or utility providers’ contractors engaged in the construction or maintenance of utility lines and services, including water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, electric, gas, telephone, television and communication services.

“Vacant land” shall mean property with no man-made impervious surfaces thereon, including agricultural land and commercial property with less than 1,000 square feet of impervious area.

“Warranty” is a period beginning at final acceptance during which the contractor or developer will repair or replace a defective item without cost to the city.

“Wastewater” means any water or other liquid, other than uncontaminated stormwater discharged from a facility.

“Watercourse” means a natural or artificial channel through which water can flow.

“Waters of the state” means any and all surface and subsurface waters that are contained in or flow in or through the state of Washington. The definition includes all watercourses, even if they are usually dry. [Ord. 5-98; Ord. 31-99; Ord. 12-00; Ord. 01-06; Ord. 12-07; Ord. 27-08; Ord. 12-10 § 1.01; amended during 2011 recodification].

16.04.020 Creation of stormwater utility – Authority.

There is hereby created and established a stormwater utility, a separate enterprise, and facility. The utility is authorized to own, construct, maintain, operate and preserve all stormwater infrastructure as now exists and as may be added to in the future by the addition of other existing or construction of storm drainage systems. In addition to its authority over stormwater facilities, the utility is authorized to maintain, operate, and preserve the street sweeping function of the city’s street maintenance program. [Ord. 5-98; Ord. 12-10 § 1.01].

16.04.030 Governing body and management of stormwater utility.

The city council shall be the governing body of the stormwater utility. Management of the utility shall be provided by the city manager or his or her designee. [Ord. 5-98; Ord. 12-10 § 1.01].

16.04.040 Ownership of stormwater facilities.

Title and all other incidents of ownership of the following assets are hereby vested in the utility: all properties, interest and physical and intangible rights of every nature, owned or held by the city, however acquired, insofar as they relate to:

A. Drainage facilities.

B. Street sweeping and other stormwater maintenance equipment. [Ord. 5-98; Ord. 12-07; Ord. 12-10 § 1.01].

16.04.050 Severability.

If any portion of this chapter as now or hereafter amended, or its application to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole, or any section, provision or part thereof not adjudged to be invalid or unconstitutional, and its application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. [Ord. 5-98; Ord. 12-10 § 1.01].