Presentation on theme: "Local Enforcement How stormwater rules are applied and enforced locally."— Presentation transcript:
Local Enforcement How stormwater rules are applied and enforced locally
State-Issued Permits Require an Ordinance From Charlotte’s Phase I Permit: “The specific requirements of section 402(p)(3)(B) of the Clean Water Act require that the City, to the extent allowable under State or local law, effectively prohibit non-stormwater discharges to the City's MS4 and that controls and management measures are implemented by the City to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the municipal storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable.” “Establish and maintain adequate ordinances or other legal authorities to prohibit illicit discharges and enforce the approved IDDE Program.”
Local Municipalities with a Stormwater Pollution Control Ordinance Charlotte Mecklenburg Co. – unincorporated area of Mecklenburg Co. and corporate limits of Cornelius, Huntersville, Pineville and Mint Hill Town of Davidson Town of Matthews
Example Ordinance Language From Mecklenburg’s Ordinance: Section 4. Prohibited Discharges to the Storm Drain System. (a) Illicit discharges prohibited. No person shall cause any non-storm water flow to enter the storm drain system unless listed in Section 4(d).
Typical Exemptions water line flushing; landscape irrigation; diverted stream flows; rising groundwaters; uncontaminated groundwater infiltration; uncontaminated pumped groundwater; discharges from potable water sources; foundation drains; air conditioning condensate (commercial/residential); irrigation waters springs; water from crawl space pumps; footing drains; lawn watering; residential and charity car washing; flows from riparian habitats and wetlands; dechlorinated swimming pool discharges; street wash water; flows from emergency fire fighting
Process for How We Address Violations
Step 1: Violation Observed or Reported Many discharges are reported by citizens or other local government employees through central hotline (311) or our website Some are observed by Environmental Specialists while doing field work *NOTE: We do not “patrol” the streets looking for violators. We do not have the time and resources available to do so.
Step 2: Investigate Alleged Violation Investigation includes: o Speak to person alleged to be in violation o Observe discharge area, storm drain system, surface waters o Take pictures, video o Obtain additional info (violator’s name, address, etc.) o Explain findings to person alleged to be in violation (educate) o Document all findings in writing Environmental Specialists from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services investigate the alleged violation.
Step 3: If Violation Confirmed… Issue verbal Notice of Violation (NOV) 1 st offense (non-willful) Issue written NOV 2 nd or continuing offense Issue written NOV Issue penalty Apply other enforcement remedy Violation is confirmed through physical evidence (observe discharge in person, observe stains/wet pavement, pictures/video, samples, etc.). Violation is not typically confirmed solely through a citizen’s report – need accompanying evidence. Violator must clean up impacted area and submit written response describing corrective actions 1 st offense (willful) Issue written NOV
What does a Notice of Violation say? Location and nature of violation General description of enforcement remedies and penalties that may apply Specific actions needed to correct the violation and restore impacted area Deadline to complete corrective actions How to provide additional information to the regulatory agency Contact name and information Requires written response explaining corrective actions
Monetary Penalties Maximum Penalties Charlotte - $5000 per day per violation Mecklenburg Co. - $10,000 per day per violation Davidson - $5000 per day per violation Matthews - incremental depending on history (maximum $1000 for 1 st ; $2000 for 2 nd ; $3,000 for 3 rd ; etc.) All penalties collected go to the public school system, not Storm Water Services Large penalties are reserved for bad violations – really large volumes, hazardous chemicals, long history of violations, uncooperative, etc. All “mitigating and aggravating factors” are considered: (1) degree & extent of harm, (2) whether committed willfully, (3) whether reasonable measures were taken to comply, (4) voluntary measures to clean up and report, (5) prior record, (6) etc. Our aim – to make penalty amounts consistent with the severity of violation and to make non-compliance more expensive than compliance
Examples of Other Enforcement Remedies Withholding of permit, certificate of occupancy or other approval Compliance Agreement Compliance Order Cease & Desist Order Emergency Relief Injunctive Relief (court order)
Appeals All Ordinances have an appeal process The Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC) hears the appeals SWAC is made up of nine citizens who are nominated and then appointed by the County Commission, City Council and Town Councils SWAC bylaws have specific requirements for committee representation Makeup o 1 member from industry, manufacturing, or commercial sector o 1 member from environmental organization o 1 member who is a construction contractor o 1 member from financial, accounting or legal profession o etc. Appointments by Area o 3 by Charlotte Council o 3 by County Commission o 1 by Northern Towns o 1 by Southern Towns o 1 by other 8 committee members