City of Morgantown

The City of Morgantown has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to protect and enhance the water quality of our watercourses, water bodies, groundwater and wetlands in a manner pursuant to and consistent with the Clean Water Act and associated federal and state stormwater regulations. The City of Morgantown 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 Morgantown will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be calculated and collected by the City of Morgantown. The City of Morgantown, 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. 

Morgantown Stormwater Ordinance

929.03 STORMWATER SERVICE CHARGES

(a) Users connected to or draining into the public stormwater system shall pay an equitable share of the actual cost of the operation, maintenance of, improvements to, and necessary additions to the stormwater system.  Therefore, all owners or tenants of real property in the City of Morgantown and the City watershed shall be charged for the use of the stormwater system based on the amount of stormwater and rate of flow of stormwater which is projected to discharge into the stormwater system from the property.

(b) The City Council shall, by ordinance, set fees which will recover from users their fair share of costs for use of the stormwater system by property within and outside the corporate limits of the City of Morgantown and within the City watershed.  Such fees will be for the operation and maintenance of, improvements to, and necessary additions to, the stormwater system.

929.06  CHARGES BASED ON LAND AREA.

The monthly service charge for properties other than single-family residences shall be computed in the following manner: two dollars and twelve cents ($2.12) per 1,000 square feet of impervious area upon the property, as determined by the Director.  After April 1, 2012, the monthly service charge for properties other than single-family residences shall be computed in the following manner: two dollars and thirty-five cents ($2.35) per 1,000 square feet of impervious area upon the property, as determined by the Director.

Service charges for a multi-unit property shall be billed to each individual tenant upon the property in a fair and proportionate share of the total property service charge, if said tenant has an individual drinking water service meter.  At the discretion of the property owner, or if the individual tenants do not have individual drinking water service meters, service charges for a multi-unit property may be billed to the property owner.  A property owner exercising this choice must complete a written agreement as required by the Director.

The Director shall assign discount credits to those newly constructed properties employing volumetric flow reduction facilities.  The Director may further assign discount credits to those existing properties employing rate of flow reduction practices. Such credits shall be provided only for additional volumetric flow reductions achieved voluntarily above and beyond the levels otherwise required by this article.

The City Council may, from time to time, by ordinance, change these rate charges.

929.07  BILLING

The billing for stormwater service may be combined with the billing for other utility services provided by the Morgantown Utility Board.

929.08 COLLECTION

Unpaid stormwater service charges shall constitute just cause for disconnection of public water service to the non-paying property.  The Director shall ensure sufficient notice of disconnection is issued no later than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled disconnection, and that notice of disconnection is posted on the affected property no later than five (5) days prior to the scheduled disconnection.  Water service shall be reactivated only upon full payment of the stormwater service charges or other payment arrangements approved by the Director.  In the alternative, the Director may take appropriate legal action to collect unpaid charges.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS.

  1. The use of the stormwater collection system shall be the collection and transportation of stormwater.
  2. No person shall place or cause to be placed any pollutant into the stormwater system other than stormwater, unless written approval has been granted by the Director. The Director may refuse to grant approval to discharge non-stormwater into the stormwater system for any reason or combination of reasons.
  3. The Morgantown Utility Board shall administer use of the stormwater system to all users within the City watershed, whether located within or outside City limits.
  4. No person shall cause or permit the introduction of any pollutant into the stormwater system, whether solid, liquid or gaseous, that will cause:
    1. Chemical reaction, either directly or indirectly with the materials of construction used in the stormwater system or that will impair the strength or durability of sewers or structures;
    2. Mechanical action that will destroy or damage sewers or structures;
    3. Restriction of the normal maintenance and inspection of sewers;
    4. Danger to public health and safety or to the environment;
    5. Conditions that create a public nuisance;
    6. An oil sheen or unusual color;
    7. Abnormal demand on the stormwater system capacity;
    8. An adverse effect  upon the function of the stormwater system; or,
    9. The stormwater system to violate its NPDES permit or applicable receiving water standards and all other Federal, State, and local regulations.
  5. Any person or entity engaged in activities which will or may result in pollutants entering the storm drain system shall undertake best management practices to reduce such pollutants.  Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to, ownership and/or operation of facilities that may be a source of pollutants, such as paved parking lots, gasoline stations, industrial facilities, and private roads/streets.
  6. No person shall throw, deposit, leave, maintain or cause to be thrown, deposited, left or maintained any refuse, rubbish, garbage, grease, petroleum products, or other discarded or abandoned objects, articles and accumulations in or upon any street, alley, sidewalk, storm drain inlet, catch basin, conduit or other drainage structures, parking area, or upon any private or public plot of land so that the same might become a pollutant, except where the pollutant is being temporarily stored in properly contained waste receptacles or is part of a well-defined compost system.
  7. No person shall cause or permit any dumpster, solid waste bin, or similar container to leak such that any pollutant is discharged into any street, alley, sidewalk, storm drain, inlet, catch basin, conduit or other drainage structure, or upon any public or private plot of land in the urban watershed.
  8. No person shall use the stormwater system for discharge from any environmental cleanup that is regulated under federal or state law unless approved by the Director. Approval by the Director must be conditioned upon the discharge meeting all criteria for discharge under this article. Approval conditions may provide for measures appropriate to prevent harm due to possible exfiltration into the ground adjacent to the system or failure of any pretreatment system for the discharge.
  9. No person shall alter the configuration or condition of the stormwater system, or create a configuration or condition within the stormwater system, which adversely affects the function of the stormwater system.
  10. No person shall purposefully discharge or purposefully cause the discharge of stormwater from their property without the use of an approved connection to the City stormwater system. The intent of this item is to leave natural drainage unregulated, but to regulate any change to the natural drainage caused by manmade actions. Any person found to be in violation of this prohibition shall take appropriate action, subject to the approval of the Director, to stop and to prevent such discharge.
    1. If unable to achieve compliance through their own means, such person shall apply and pay for an extension of the City stormwater system to his/her property. In such cases, the work necessary within the private property to collect the stormwater and to connect to the City stormwater system shall be performed by and at the expense of the private party.
    2. Any party receiving a warning Notice of Violation and/or an Order from the Director requiring correction of such conditions may appeal.

ILLICIT CONNECTIONS

It is prohibited to establish, use, maintain or continue illicit connections to the municipal stormwater system, or to commence or continue any illicit discharges to the municipal stormwater system.

OUTDOOR STORAGE AREAS.

In outdoor areas, no person shall store grease, oil or other hazardous substances in a manner that will or may result in such substances entering the stormwater system. In outdoor areas, no person shall store motor vehicles, machine parts, or other objects in a manner that may leak grease, oil, or other hazardous substances to the stormwater system. To prevent the discharge of hazardous substances to the stormwater system, the Director may require the installation of a spill containment system.  Spill containment systems may consist of a system of dikes, walls, barriers, berms, or other devices as required.  No person shall operate a spill containment system such that it allows incompatible liquids to mix and thereby create a hazardous condition.

DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS.

Discharges from the following activities will not be considered a source of pollutants to waters of the State when properly managed: water line flushing and other discharges from potable water sources, landscape irrigation and lawn watering, irrigation water, diverted stream flows, rising ground waters, groundwater infiltration to separate storm drains, uncontaminated pumped ground water, foundation and footing drains, roof drains, water from crawl space pumps, residential air conditioning condensation, springs, individual residential and non-profit group car washes, flows from riparian habitats and wetlands, dechlorinated swimming pool discharges or flows from fire-fighting activities and training.

DISCHARGE IN VIOLATION OF PERMIT.

Any discharge that would cause a violation of a Municipal NPDES Permit and any amendments, revisions or reissuance thereof, either separately considered or when combined with other discharges, is prohibited. Liability for any such discharge, including, but not limited to, the cost of remedial activity, shall be the responsibility of the person(s) causing or responsible for the discharge, and the City shall seek to have such persons defend, indemnify and hold harmless the City in any administrative or judicial enforcement action against the City of Morgantown and/or the Morgantown Utility Board relating to such discharge as provided by applicable rules of law.

NOTIFICATION OF SPILLS.

All persons in charge of a facility or responsible for emergency response for a facility are responsible to train facility personnel, maintain records of such training and maintain notification procedures to assure that immediate notification is provided to the Director upon becoming aware of any suspected, confirmed or unconfirmed release of material, pollutants or waste creating a risk of discharge into the municipal stormwater system or into a receiving stream.

929.19  ENFORCEMENT.

  1. No person shall cause or allow any discharge into the municipal separate storm sewer system in violation of the City's NPDES permit, the Clean Water Act and/or this Article.
  2. No person shall construct or maintain any property, residence or business not in compliance with the standards of this article.
  3. The Director and other authorized employees of the City bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted, after reasonable notice, to enter upon all properties in the City watershed for the purposes of inspection, observation, measurement, sampling and testing in accordance with the provisions of this article.
  4. The Director is authorized to take appropriate legal action to require compliance with this article.
  5. The Director is authorized to issue warning notices of violations for any conditions found to violate the requirements provided in this article. A warning notice of a violation of this article shall be served upon the alleged violator by personal delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested.  The warning notice shall state the nature of the violation, the potential penalty, the action required to correct the violation, and a time limit for making the correction.
  6. Violations of this article shall be a criminal misdemeanor, subject to criminal citation and punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00). Each and every day or portion thereof that a person or entity fails or refuses to remedy a violation shall be considered a separate offense. Citations may be issued against any person or firm who has violated or continues to violate any section of this article or any of the following:
    1. Failing to comply with a valid order issued under this article; and/or
    2. Failing to allow entry, inspection or monitoring; and/or
    3. Violation of reporting requirements or falsification of reports.
  7. If, after reasonable warning notice, a person fails to comply with this article within the time limit included in the notice, the Director may seek issuance of a criminal citation by appropriate law enforcement authorities.
  8. In addition to any other remedy, the Director, after thirty (30) calendar days written notice and five (5) calendar days notice posted on the affected property, is authorized to disconnect water service, sanitary sewer and stormwater sewer services to any property in violation of this article. The notice shall state that persons affected may within five (5) calendar days provide the Director with any information or reasons as to why services should not be disconnected.
  9. The Director is authorized to take all steps necessary to immediately and without notice halt any discharge of pollutants which reasonably appear to present an imminent danger to the health or welfare of persons or to the environment of the City watershed. A person or entity causing such discharge shall immediately eliminate the violation.  If such person or entity fails to immediately eliminate the violation, the Director may take all steps necessary to eliminate the discharge.
  10. When the Director finds that a person or entity has violated or continues to violate any section of this article, the Director may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of a permanent or temporary injunction, as appropriate, which restrains or compels specific compliance with this article. The Director may also seek such other action as is appropriate for legal and/or equitable relief, including a requirement that the person or entity conduct an environmental remediation.  A petition for injunctive relief shall not be a bar against or a prerequisite for taking any other action against the person or entity. The Director may recover from a violator reasonable attorney's fees, court costs and other expenses associated with the enforcement of this article, as well as the cost of actual damages incurred by the City.
  11. Persons aggrieved by any determination of the Director in enforcing this article may appeal that determination to the Morgantown Utility Board.

929.23 MAINTENANCE OF STORMWATER FACILITIES.

  1. Private stormwater facilities located in private property and within the City watershed shall be maintained by the owner or other responsible party and shall be repaired and/or replaced by such person when such facilities are no longer functioning as designed.
  2. Disposal of waste from maintenance of private facilities shall be conducted in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
  3. Records of installation and maintenance and repair shall be retained by the owner or other responsible party for a period of five (5) years and shall be made available to the Director upon request.
  4. The Director may perform corrective or maintenance work, which shall be at the owner's expense, upon any failure to maintain facilities or correct problems with facilities after receiving due reasonable notice from the Director.
  5. Routine maintenance of detention/retention facilities shall be conducted by the owner of the facility in accordance with this article and guidance of the Director.

INSPECTION

  1. Stormwater systems within the City watershed shall be inspected by the Director during and after construction to assure consistency with the approved stormwater management plan.
  2. All stormwater systems within the City watershed shall be subject to the authority of the Director to ensure compliance with this article and may be inspected when deemed necessary.
  3. The owner of a private stormwater system, or other responsible party designated by the owner, shall make annual inspections of the facilities, including any detention/retention facility, and maintain records of such inspections for a period of five (5) years.
  4. Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this article, or whenever the Director has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building or upon any premises any condition which may constitute a violation of the provisions of this article, the Director may enter such building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same or perform any duty imposed by this article; provided that:
    1. If such building or premises is occupied, he or she first shall present proper credentials and request entry; and
    2. If such building or premises is unoccupied, he or she first shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry.
  5. The property owner or occupant has the right to refuse entry but, in the event such entry is refused, the Director is hereby empowered to seek assistance from any court of competent jurisdiction in obtaining such entry and performing such inspection.
  6. Routine or area inspections shall be based upon such reasonable selection processes as may be deemed necessary to carry out the objectives of this article, including but not limited to, random sampling and/or sampling in areas with evidence of stormwater pollution, illicit discharges, or similar factors.

SAMPLING

With the consent of the owner or occupant or with Court order, the Director may establish on any property such devices as are necessary to conduct sampling or metering operations.  During all inspections as provided herein, the Director may take any samples deemed necessary to aid in the pursuit of the inquiry or to record the on-site activities, provided that owners or occupants shall be entitled to split samples.

TESTING AND MONITORING.

  1. Whenever the Director determines that any person engaged in any activity and/or owning or operating any facility may cause or contribute to stormwater pollution or illicit discharges to the stormwater system, the Director may, by written notice, order that such person undertake such monitoring activities and/or analyses and furnish such reports as the Director may require. The written notice shall be served either in person or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and shall set forth the basis for such order and shall particularly describe the monitoring activities and/or analyses and reports required. The burden to be borne by the owner or operator, including costs of these activities, analyses and reports, shall bear a reasonable relationship to the need for the monitoring, analyses and reports and the benefits to be obtained. The recipient of such order shall undertake and provide the monitoring, analyses and reports within the time frames set forth in the Order.
  2. Within twenty (20) days of the date of receipt of the order notice, the recipient shall respond personally or in writing advising the Director of the recipients position with respect to the Order's requirements. Thereafter, the recipient shall be given the opportunity to meet with the Director to review the Order's requirements and revise the Order as the Director may deem necessary.  Within ten (10) days of such meeting, the Director shall issue a final written order.  Final Orders issued pursuant to this Section may be appealed to the Morgantown Utility Board by the filing of a written appeal with the Utility Board within ten (10) days of receipt of the final Order. The appeal notice shall set forth the particular Order requirements or issues being appealed. The Utility Board shall hear the appeal at its earliest practical date and may either affirm, revoke or modify the Order. The decision of the Utility Board shall be final, but may be subject to review by a Court of competent Jurisdiction.
  3. In the event the owner or operator of a facility or property fails to conduct the monitoring and/or analyses and furnish the reports required by the Order in the time frames set forth therein, the Director may cause such monitoring and/or analyses to occur.  If a violation is found, the Director may assess all costs incurred, including reasonable administrative costs and attorney's fees, to the owner or operator. The Director may pursue judicial action to enforce the Order and recover all costs incurred.

CONCEALMENT

Causing, permitting, aiding, abetting or concealing a violation of any provision of this article shall constitute a violation of such provision.

ACTS RESULTING IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT.

Any person who violates any provision of this article, or who discharges waste or wastewater which causes pollution, or who violates any cease and desist order, prohibition, or effluent limitation, also may be in violation of the federal Clean Water Act and may be subject to the sanctions of that Act including civil and criminal penalties.

VIOLATIONS DEEMED A PUBLIC NUISANCE.

  1. In addition to the penalties hereinbefore provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be considered a threat to the public health, safety, welfare and the environment, may be declared and deemed a nuisance by the Director and may be summarily abated and/or restored by the Director and/or civil action taken to abate, enjoin or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance.
  2. The cost of such abatement and/or restoration shall be borne by the owner of the property and the cost thereof shall be a lien upon and against the property and such lien shall continue in existence until the same shall be paid.
  3.  If any violation of this article constitutes a seasonal and recurrent nuisance, the Director shall so declare.  Thereafter such seasonal and recurrent nuisance shall be abated every year without the necessity of any further declaration.
  4. In any administrative or civil proceeding under this article in which the City or its agent prevails, the City or its agent may be awarded all costs of investigation, administrative overhead, out-of-pocket expenses, costs of administrative hearings, costs of suit and reasonable attorneys' fees.

ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT POWERS.

  1. In addition to the other enforcement powers and remedies established by this article, the Director has the authority to utilize the following administrative remedies.
    1. Cease and Desist Orders. When the Director finds that a discharge has taken place or is likely to take place in violation of this article, the Director may issue an order to cease and desist such discharge, or practice, or operation likely to cause such discharge and direct that those persons not complying shall:
      1. Comply with the requirement;
      2. Comply with a time schedule for compliance, and/or
      3. Take appropriate remedial or preventive action to prevent the violation from recurring.
    2. Notice to Clean. Whenever the Director finds any oil, earth dirt, grass, weeds, dead trees, tin cans, rubbish, refuse, waste or any other material of any kind, in or upon the sidewalk abutting or adjoining any parcel of land, or upon any parcel of land or grounds or in close proximity to any open drain or ditch channel, which may result in an increase in pollutants entering the storm drain system or a non-stormwater discharge to the storm drain system, he or she may give notice to the property owner remove and lawfully dispose of such material in any manner that he or she reasonably may provide. The recipient of such notice shall undertake the activities as described in the notice within the time frames set forth therein.
    3. In the event the owner or operator of a facility fails to conduct the activities as described in the notice, the Director may cause such required activities as described in the notice to be performed, and the cost thereof shall be assessed and invoiced to the owner of the property. If the invoice is not paid within thirty (30) days, a lien shall be placed upon and against the property.

NONEXCLUSIVITY OF REMEDIES.

Remedies under this article are in addition to and do not supersede or limit any and all other remedies, civil or criminal. The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive.

APPEAL.

Any person, firm, corporation or organization notified of non-compliance with this article or required to perform monitoring, analyses, reporting and/or corrective activities who is aggrieved by the decision of the Director may appeal such decision in writing to the Morgantown Utility Board within ten (10) days following the effective date of the decision. Upon receipt of such request, the Utility Board shall request a report and recommendation from the Director and shall set the matter for administrative hearing at the earliest practical date. At said hearing, the Utility Board may hear additional evidence, and may revoke, affirm or modify the earlier decision. Such decision shall be final, subject to appeal to a Court of competent jurisdiction.

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