Vanderburgh County has enacted a Stormwater Drainage Control Ordinance in order to reduce or prevent flood hazard and damage, to protect and conserve resources, and to promote economic development. The City of Evansville/Vanderburgh County is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Evansville/Vanderburgh County will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Evansville/Vanderburgh County, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Evansville/Vanderburgh County has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
Responsibility for drainage facility maintenance.
For projects other than single-family residential subdivisions, the maintenance and repair of all stormwater drainage facilities outside of county accepted rights-of-way after completion of a project other than single-family residential subdivisions, will be the sole responsibility of the property owner(s) of record.
The entire storm sewer system, including the basins, for all projects subject to the terms of this chapter shall be inspected by the following procedures:
1. Periodic Inspections of Storm Sewer Systems and Basins.
a. Stormwater drainage systems and parts thereof constructed under the provisions of this chapter will be inspected by the county engineer or his/her agent on a periodic, or “as needed” basis.
b. A permanent record of all inspections shall be kept in the office of the county engineer.
c. The purpose of such periodic inspections shall be to determine compliance or noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter and compliance with the conditions of plan approval.
d. If required by the drainage board or the county commissioners, a certified inspection report covering physical conditions, operational conditions, compliance with ordinance requirements, and other pertinent data will be filed with the drainage board and made available for viewing by the public.
2. Correction of Deficiencies. If the county engineer discovers deficiencies within a stormwater drainage system constructed under the provisions of this chapter, the engineer shall file a report of such deficiencies with the drainage board, and the county commissioners, which boards shall take actions in accordance with provisions of this chapter to remedy such deficiencies.
ILLICIT DISCHARGE INTO STORM WATER COLLECTION SYSTEM
Exempted discharges and connections.
Notwithstanding other requirements in this Chapter, the following categories of non-storm water discharges or flows are exempted from the requirements of this Chapter:
A. Water line flushing;
B. Landscape irrigation;
C. Diverted stream flows;
D. Rising ground waters;
E. Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration;
F. Uncontaminated pumped ground water;
G. Discharges from potable water sources;
H. Foundation drains;
I. Air conditioning condensation;
J. Irrigation water;
L. Water from crawl space pumps;
M. Footing drains;
N. Lawn watering;
O. Non-commercial car washing;
P. Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
Q. De-chlorinated swimming pool discharges;
R. Street wash water;
S. Discharges from firefighting activities;
T. Any other water source not containing pollutants;
U. Non-storm water discharges permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of applicable state and federal agencies, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, and provided that the permit, waiver, or order grants written approval for any discharge to the MS4 conveyance. Proof of compliance with said permit, waiver, or waste discharge order may be required in a form acceptable to MS4 Operator prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
All exempted discharges and connections listed above must be done in accordance with all other applicable Vanderburgh County ordinances and state and/or federal laws and regulations.
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance, or continued existence of illicit connections to the MS4 is prohibited. This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of the connection.
In the event of any accidental illicit discharge into the MS4 in an amount that could cause a threat to the public health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of Vanderburgh County or to the environment, the Person responsible for the discharge or his designee shall give notice of the accidental discharge to the MS4 Operator as soon as practicable. In no event shall this notice be more than two (2) hours after the discovery of the accidental discharge or when the responsible Person becomes aware of the circumstances of the incident.
If an emergency response by government agencies is needed, the responsible Person shall call 911 immediately to report the accidental discharge. Reports required by 327 IAC 2-6 shall be made within two (2) hours of discovery, and a written report shall be provided to the MS4 Operator within five (5) days of the time of the accidental discharge, unless this requirement is specifically waived by the MS4 Operator. The report shall contain the following information:
A. A description of the accidental discharge; this description shall include, but may not be limited to, the material discharged, the amount of material discharged, and the amount of material recovered.
B. The exact dates and times of the accidental discharge;
C. Steps being taken to eliminate and prevent recurrence of the discharge;
D. The name, title, telephone number, and business name (if applicable) of person making the report, and the name, title, and telephone number of a person who may be contacted for additional information regarding the accidental discharge.
The responsible Person shall take all reasonable steps to minimize any adverse impact to the MS4 and/or Waters of the State.
Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator assume no liability for any improper reporting by a responsible Person regarding an accidental discharge.
Reporting of an accidental discharge as defined in this section does not relieve the responsible Person from complying with all other reporting requirements as mandated by applicable laws and/or regulations.
Authority and right of entry.
The MS4 Operator shall have right of entry upon the property of any Person who is in apparent violation of this Chapter. The MS4 Operator shall be provided access to all applicable parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, monitoring, sampling, inventory, records examination, and the performance of any other duties necessary to determine compliance with this Chapter. Except in an emergency relating directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the MS4 Operator shall enter onto a property only after reasonable notice to and consent by the responsible Person. If such consent is refused, denied, or not promptly provided, Vanderburgh County may seek appropriate judicial orders to request such entry for the MS4 Operator.
Where a property, site, or facility has security measures in force which require proper identification and clearance before entry, the responsible Person shall make necessary arrangements with its security personnel so that, upon presentation of suitable identification, the MS4 Operator will be permitted to enter without delay.
Right of entry onto a property by the MS4 Operator shall include the right to erect upon the property such devices as are deemed necessary by the MS4 Operator to conduct sampling and/or metering of the storm water discharges that are in apparent violation of this Chapter.
The MS4 Operator have the right to require the responsible Person to install storm water monitoring equipment as needed in order to determine compliance with this Chapter. All sampling and monitoring equipment required shall be maintained at all times in a safe and proper operating condition at the expense of the responsible Person. All required monitoring equipment must be calibrated to ensure its accuracy.
Any temporary or permanent obstruction to safe and easy access to the areas requiring inspection to determine compliance with this Chapter shall be removed promptly by the responsible Person upon request by, and at no cost to, Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator.
Unreasonable delays by the responsible Person in allowing the MS4 Operator access to a property on which there is an apparent violation of this Chapter shall be considered as a violation of this Chapter.
Any Person responsible for any illicit discharge into the MS4 shall immediately cause such illicit discharge to be discontinued. Such Person shall provide the MS4 Operator with written confirmation, in a form satisfactory to the MS4 Operator that the illicit discharge has been discontinued.
Any Person responsible for illicit discharges or noncompliance with BMPs at industrial and/or construction sites, and who fails to correct or discontinue any illicit discharge at the order of the MS4 Operator shall be liable to the county for all expenses incurred in correcting the prohibited condition or terminating the prohibited activity. Such expenses may include, but are not limited to, testing, measuring, sampling, collecting, removing, treating, and disposing of the pollutants and preventing further illicit discharges into the MS4.
Vanderburgh County may pursue appropriate legal proceedings for the enforcement of this Chapter, and Vanderburgh County shall be entitled to recover its costs expended and reasonable attorney’s fees in any such proceeding. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, and other appropriate forms of remedy or relief. If the Person, property, or facility has or is required to have a storm water discharge permit from IDEM, the MS4 Operator shall notify the appropriate State authorities of the violation. Any of the following enforcement remedies and penalties, to be applied independently or in a sequence as deemed necessary, shall be available to Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator in response to violations of this Chapter:
A. Notice of Violation (NOV). Whenever the MS4 Operator finds that any Person owning or occupying premises has violated or is violating this Chapter or an order issued hereunder, the MS4 Operator may serve, by personal service, registered, or certified mail, upon said Person a written NOV. Within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of this NOV, or shorter period as may be prescribed in the NOV, the Person served the NOV must submit to the MS4 Operator a written explanation of the violation, and a plan for the satisfactory correction and prevention thereof, which shall include specific required actions needed to correct the violation. Submission of this plan shall not affect liability for violations of this Chapter.
B. Revocation of Permit. For violations involving active permits, Vanderburgh County or the MS4 Operator may revoke and require surrender of a permit or certificate by notifying the permit holder, in writing, of the reason for the reason of the revocation. Permits or certificates may be revoked for any substantial departure from approved plans thereby resulting in an illicit discharge as defined herein.
C. Stop Work Order. For violations involving active construction sites, Vanderburgh County or the MS4 Operator may issue a Stop Work Order and require that all activities cease, except those actions that are necessary to eliminate the illicit discharge. Unacceptable or untimely actions attempting to eliminate the illicit discharge may be used as justification to revoke permits as described above.
D. Compliance Order. If any Person shall violate the provisions of this Chapter, Vanderburgh County or the MS4 Operator may order the owner, responsible party, or any Person in possession of the subject property to correct all Chapter violations existing thereupon within a scheduled period from the date of such notice. The responsible Person for said violations shall prepare a storm water pollution prevention plan with all appropriate BMPs that will satisfactorily correct all violations of this Chapter. Upon approval of the storm water pollution plan by the MS4 Operator, the responsible Person shall properly implement the plan. The MS4 Operator may also require the responsible Person to restore all land affected by a violation of this Chapter to its condition prior to the violation.
E. Suspension of MS4 Access When Due to Illicit Discharges in Emergency Situations. Vanderburgh County or the MS4 Operator may, without prior notice, suspend MS4 access to a responsible Person when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened illicit discharge that presents or may present imminent and substantial to the MS4 or to waters of the state. If the responsible Person fails to comply with an order suspending access to the MS4, Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator may take any and all applicable steps deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4.
F. Suspension Due to the Detection of Illicit Discharge: Any responsible Person discharging to the MS4 in violation of this Chapter may have their MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator will notify the responsible Person of the proposed termination of MS4 access. In the event of a suspension, the responsible Person may petition Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator for a hearing to reconsider said suspension due to detection of an illicit discharge.
If it is determined by Vanderburgh County that a violation of this Chapter is such that there is imminent danger or peril to the public health, safety, or welfare, Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator may, with or without notice, proceed to correct said violation, with the costs of such correction to be charged to the Person responsible for said ordinance violation.
Violations deemed a public nuisance.
In addition to the enforcement processes and penalties provided herein, 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 as a nuisance, and may be summarily abated or restored at the responsible Person’s expense, and/or a civil action to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance may be taken.
Appeal of notice of violation.
Any person receiving a Notice of Violation may appeal said notice. The appeal must be stated in writing and it must be received by Vanderburgh County within five (5) days of the date of the Notice of Violation. Vanderburgh County shall hold a hearing on the appeal within fifteen (15) days from the date of receipt of the appeal. The decision made by Vanderburgh County upon completion of the hearing shall be final.
Enforcement measures after appeal.
If an appeal is denied by Vanderburgh County, the responsible Person shall correct the illicit discharge in accordance with the terms of the Notice of Violation and/or any modifications to the Notice of Violation as determined during the appeal hearing. In the event that the responsible Person fails to correct the illicit discharge in accordance with the terms of the Notice of Violation and/or appeal hearing, Vanderburgh County and/or the MS4 Operator shall utilize all applicable provisions of this Chapter to eliminate the illicit discharge and assess the cost of eliminating the illicit discharge to the responsible Person.
Any Person who has been found to have violated any provision of this Chapter may be assessed a fine of up to $500.00 per violation per day, plus court costs, attorneys’ fees, damages, and expenses for a first offense. Each subsequent but separate violation of this Chapter may result in a fine of up to $2,500.00 per violation per day, plus court costs, attorneys’ fees, damages, and expenses. Each day such violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate offense and shall make the Person liable for the imposition of a fine for each day. For purposes of this section, “subsequent offense” means a violation of the provisions of this Chapter committed by the same Person within twelve (12) months of a previous violation of the same provision of this Chapter for which said Person was admitted responsibility or was adjudicated to be responsible.
The rights and remedies provided for in this section are cumulative and in addition to any other remedies provided by law. An admission or determination of responsibility shall not exempt the offender from compliance with the requirements of this Chapter. Any person who aids or abets a person in violation of this Chapter shall also be subject to penalties provided in this section.
In the event that penalties are assessed by the State of Indiana against Vanderburgh County as a result of a violation of this Chapter, the Person responsible for such violation may be assessed a penalty in an amount equal to the penalty assessed against Vanderburgh County by the State.
If corrective action, including required maintenance, is not completed in the time specified or within a reasonable time period, Vanderburgh County may take the appropriate corrective action, and all costs of abatement or corrective action may be assessed against the responsible Person. If these costs are not paid within ninety (90) days of invoice, Vanderburgh County may initiate all appropriate legal actions to enforce the claim.
Injuctions and/or proceedings at law.
Any violation of this Chapter or of any condition, order, requirement, or remedy adopted pursuant hereto may be restrained, corrected, abated, mandated, or enjoined by other appropriate proceedings pursuant to State law.
In addition to any other remedies provided in this Chapter, any violation of this Chapter may be enforced by civil action brought by Vanderburgh County. Monies recovered under this subsection shall be paid to Vanderburgh County to be used exclusively for costs associated with implementing or enforcing the provisions of this Chapter. In any such action, Vanderburgh County may seek, as appropriate, any or all of the following remedies:
A. A temporary and/or permanent injunction;
B. Assessment to the responsible Person for the costs of any investigation inspection, or monitoring survey which lead to the establishment of the violation, and for the reasonable costs of preparing and bringing legal action under this subsection;
C. Costs incurred in removing, correcting, or terminating the adverse effects resulting from the violation of this Chapter;
D. Compensatory damages for loss or destruction to water quality, wildlife, fish, and aquatic life.
Emergency orders and abatements.
Vanderburgh County may order the abatement of any discharge from any source to the storm water conveyance system when, in the opinion of Vanderburgh County, the illicit discharge causes or threatens to cause a condition that presents an imminent danger to the public health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of Vanderburgh County or to the environment, or is a violation of an NPDES permit. If such emergency situations occur and the responsible Person is unavailable, or time constraints are such that service of a notice and order to abate cannot be completed without presenting an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare or to the environment, Vanderburgh County may undertake the abatement of said threat or danger. The costs of any such action by Vanderburgh County may be recovered as defined herein.