City of Carmel


The City of Carmel has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Carmel through the regulation of stormwater discharges to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law. The City of Carmel 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 Carmel 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.  The City of Carmel, 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 Carmel has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

 

Stormwater Fee

The stormwater fee for non-residential properties is $4.95 per ERU per month. An ERU is an equivalent residential unit and is specified for the city of Carmel as 4,150 square feet.

Non-Residential Example:

Property containing 8,300 square feet would be divided by 4,150 and then multiplied by $4.95 to get the total monthly amount of $9.90.

Discharge Prohibitions.

   (a)   Prohibition of illicit discharges.

      (1)   No entity shall discharge directly or indirectly or cause to be discharged into the storm drainage system, MS4, or receiving waters any materials, including but not limited to, pollutants or non-stormwater discharges that cause or contribute to a violation of applicable water quality standards, other than stormwater.

      (2)   The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illicit discharge to the storm drainage system, MS4, or receiving waters is prohibited except as described as follows:

         a.   The following discharges are exempt from the requirements of this section: water line flushing or other potable water sources, landscape irrigation or lawn watering, diverted stream flows, rising ground water, ground water infiltration to storm drains, uncontaminated pumped ground water, foundation or footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, air conditioning condensation, springs, non-commercial washing of vehicles, natural riparian habitat or wetland flows, swimming pools (if dechlorinated – typically less than one PPM chlorine), firefighting activities, and any other water source not containing pollutants.

         b.   Discharges specified in writing by the City of Carmel as being necessary to protect public health and safety.

         c.   Dye testing is an allowable discharge, but requires a verbal notification to the City of Carmel prior to the time of the test.

         d.    The prohibition shall not apply to any non-stormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES stormwater discharge permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, including this Article, and provided that written approval has been granted for any discharge to the storm drainage system, MS4, or receiving waters.

   (b)   Prohibition of illicit connections.

      (1)   The construction, use, maintenance, or continued existence of illicit connections is prohibited.

      (2)   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 connection.

      (3)   An entity is in violation of this Article if the entity makes an illicit connection or allows such a connection to continue after service of a notice of violation. This Article requires an immediate cessation of the illicit connection after service of the notice of violation.

Storage of Pollutants.

   Storage or stockpiling of pollutants within any floodplain district is strictly prohibited. Storage or stockpiling of pollutants on active construction sites must include adequate protection and/or containment so as to prevent any such materials from entering any temporary or permanent stormwater conveyance or watercourse.

Access to Facilities.

   (a)   The City of Carmel shall be permitted to enter and inspect any premises subject to regulation under this Article or subject to the conditions of a NPDES stormwater discharge permit as often as may be necessary to determine compliance with this Article. If a said premise has security measures in force, which require proper identification and clearance before entry into its premise, the owner of said premise shall make the necessary arrangements to allow access to representatives of the City of Carmel.

   (b)   The City of Carmel shall be provided ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, examination and provided access to all records that must be kept under the conditions of a NPDES stormwater discharge permit or this Article and shall be permitted to make copies of said records, and the performance of any additional duties as defined by state and federal law and any other applicable codes, ordinances, or laws which would otherwise have jurisdiction over the provisions of this Article.

   (c)   Unreasonable delay or refusal to allow the City of Carmel access to a premise subject to regulation under this Article or subject to the conditions of a NPDES stormwater discharge permit is a violation of this Article.

   (d)   If the City of Carmel has been refused access to any part of the premise, and the City of Carmel is able to demonstrate probable cause to believe that there may be a violation of this Article, or that there is a need to inspect and/or sample any discharges as part of an inspection and sampling program developed to verify compliance with this Article or any order issued hereunder, and/or to protect the overall public health, safety, and welfare of the City of Carmel, then the City of Carmel may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.

   (e)   Any temporary or permanent obstruction to safe and easy access to the premise to be inspected and/or sampled shall be promptly removed by the owner of the premises at the written or oral request of the City of Carmel and shall not be replaced. The costs of clearing such access shall be borne by the owner of the premise.

   (f)   It shall be unlawful for the entity of any premise to refuse to allow the City of Carmel to enter upon the premise for the purpose of inspection.

Monitoring of Discharges.

   (a)   The City of Carmel shall have the right to install on any premise, such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the City to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the premise's discharge.

   (b)   The City of Carmel reserves the right to require the entity of said premise to install monitoring equipment as necessary. The premise's sampling and monitoring equipment shall be maintained at all times in a safe and proper operating condition by the entity at the expense of the entity. Data resulting from said monitoring shall be provided to the City of Carmel. All devices used to measure flow and quality shall be calibrated to ensure their accuracy.

Removal of Mud and Other Substances from City Streets.

   No entity shall, under any circumstance, cause any mud, dirt, sand, gravel, stone or other similar substance to be deposited upon any City street at any time.

Requirement to Prevent, Control, and Reduce Stormwater Pollutants by the Use of Best Management Practices.

   Any entity responsible for a premise, which is, or may be, the source of an illicit discharge shall provide, at their own expense, reasonable protection from an illicit discharge through the use of acceptable best management practices (BMPs), as determined by the City of Carmel. Acceptable BMPs are outlined in the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual. This shall include any premise having an approved NPDES stormwater discharge permit.

Notification of Spills.

   (a)   Any entity who knowingly or accidentally causes an illicit discharge shall immediately notify emergency dispatch services. A written report concerning the illicit discharge shall be filed with the City of Carmel Engineering Department, by the dischargers, within five days. The written report shall specify:

      (1)   The composition of the discharge and the cause thereof;

      (2)   The date, time, and estimated volume of the discharge;

      (3)   All measures taken to remedy the illicit discharge, and all measures proposed to be taken to prevent any recurrence;

      (4)   The name and telephone number of the entity making the report, and the name and telephone number of the entity who may be contacted for additional information on the matter.

   (b)   A properly reported illicit discharge shall be an affirmative defense to a civil infraction proceeding brought under this Article against an entity for such discharge. It shall not, however, be a defense to a legal action brought to obtain an injunction, to obtain recovery of costs or to obtain other relief because of or arising out of the illicit discharge. An illicit discharge shall be considered properly reported only if the entity complies with all the requirements of this section. This requirement does not relieve the entity from notifying other agencies as required by state or federal regulations.

Post Construction Stormwater Quality Management.

   (a)   The City of Carmel has established a minimum standard that the measurement of the effectiveness of the control of stormwater quality will be based on the management of total suspended solids (TSS). The project site owner must submit to the City of Carmel, a post-construction SWPPP that would show placement of appropriate BMP(s) from a pre-approved list of BMPs specified in the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual and would demonstrate that the expected TSS loadings in runoff associated with one inch of rainfall will be reduced by a minimum of 80% at the outfall(s) exiting the site. The noted BMPs must be designed, constructed, and maintained according to guidelines provided or referenced in the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual. Practices other than those specified in the pre-approved list may be utilized. However, the burden of proof, as to whether the performance (minimum 80% TSS removal) and ease of maintenance of such practices will be according to guidelines provided in the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, would be placed with the applicant. Details regarding the procedures and criteria for consideration of acceptance of such BMPs are provided in the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual.

   (b)   The following activities are exempt from the requirements of this section:

      (1)   Agricultural land-disturbing activities; or

      (2)   Timber harvesting activities; or

      (3)   Construction activities associated with a single-family residential dwelling disturbing less than five acres, when the dwelling is not part of a larger common plan of development or sale; or

      (4)   A single-family residential strip development where the developer offers for sale or lease without land improvements and the project is not part of a larger common plan of development of sale; or

      (5)   Individual building lots within a larger permitted project.

BMP Maintenance.

   (a)   BMPs shall be maintained in a condition that their effectiveness in treating runoff is not diminished, in accordance with the operation and maintenance procedures and schedules listed in the Indiana Stormwater Quality Manual or the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, and the terms and conditions of an approved stormwater management permit, and shall not be subsequently altered, revised, or replaced, except in accordance with the provisions of an approved stormwater management permit (as amended or revised) or as approved by the City of Carmel. The BMP owner is considered in violation of this Article if the BMP is not maintained properly.

   (b)   Following the issuance of an NOT or the installation of an acceptable BMP, inspection and maintenance of the BMP(s) shall be the long-term responsibility of the HOA or entity as specified in restrictive covenants. The HOA or entity is required to inspect the referenced BMP(s) at least once per year. The inspections shall follow the operation and maintenance procedures included in the City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual and/or the stormwater management permit for each specific BMP. The inspection shall cover physical conditions, available water quality storage capacity, and the operational condition of key facility elements. The HOA or entity is required to submit a yearly inspection report form (City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual) demonstrating proof of inspection, with the first report to be required one year after the HOA or entity gains ownership of the BMP(s), and subsequent reports due each year within the month of the original transfer of ownership. Noted deficiencies and corrective actions taken should be included in the report.

   (c)   The City of Carmel has the authority to perform long-term inspection of all public or privately owned BMPs. Such inspections will be in addition to that required to be performed by the HOA or the entity on a regular basis. The HOA or entity is in violation of this Article if an inspection report is not submitted to the City of Carmel within one month of the date due, if the HOA or entity fails to correct noted deficiencies within the allowed time period, or if the City of Carmel identifies a violation that was stated as not existing in the submitted inspection report.

Notice of Violation.

   (a)   In the event an entity has violated this Article, the City of Carmel may order compliance by written notice of violation to the entity. Such notice may require without limitation:

      (1)   The performance of monitoring, analyzing, and reporting;

      (2)   The elimination of illicit connections or illicit discharges;

      (3)   That illicit discharges shall cease and desist;

      (4)   The abatement or remediation of the illicit discharge and the restoration of any affected property;

      (5)   Payment of a fine;

      (6)   The implementation of source control and/or installation of acceptable BMPs;

      (7)   Payment of any costs borne by the City of Carmel, including but not limited to, remediation costs, legal fees, consultant fees, monitoring costs, construction costs, collection fees;

      (8)   The installation, implementation, and/or maintenance of the approved components of a SWPPP or other erosion and sediment control practices as deemed necessary by the City of Carmel;

      (9)   Issuance of a stop work order; and/or

      (10)   Revocation or suspension of the stormwater management permit.

   (b)   The City of Carmel may, without prior notice of violation, suspend storm drainage system or MS4 access to an entity in the form of a suspension order when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened illicit discharge which presents or may present imminent and substantial danger.

   (c)   The notice of violation or suspension order shall:

      (1)   Be in writing;

      (2)   Include a description of the property for identification;

      (3)   Include a statement of the violation(s) and section violated and why the notice or order is being issued;

      (4)   Include a description of corrective actions to be taken allowing a sufficient reasonable amount of time, of at least one day from the time the notice of violation or suspension order is given, to make the repairs and improvements required to bring the property into compliance with the provisions of this Article; and

      (5)   Include a notice containing the right to appeal the City of Carmel's determination to the Board of Public Works in accordance with § 6-206 Appeal of Notice of Violation.

   (d)   Reinspection of remedied violations will be assessed a reinspection fee in accordance with the City of Carmel Department of Engineering fee ordinance.

   (e)   If the entity fails to comply with a suspension order or fails to perform steps provided in a notice of violation within the established deadline, then the City of Carmel may take steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage or remediate a violation. All reasonable costs associated with the abatement or restoration shall be assessed against the owner of the property and may be filed as a lien against the property in the amount of the assessment. It shall be unlawful for any entity, owner, agent or person in possession of any premise to refuse to allow the City of Carmel or its designated contractor to enter upon the premise for the purposes set forth above.

   (f)   In the event of a suspension, the City of Carmel shall not reinstate suspended services or MS4 access to the entity until the entity presents proof, satisfactory to the City of Carmel, the illicit discharge has been eliminated and its cause determined and corrected. An entity violates this Article if the entity reinstates MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section, without the prior approval of the City of Carmel.

   (g)   In addition to the penalties listed above, if construction activities are conducted contrary to the provisions of this Article or a stormwater management permit, the City of Carmel may order the work stopped by notice in writing, in the form of a stop work order, served on any entity engaged in the doing or causing of such work to be done, and any such entity shall forthwith stop such work until authorized by the City of Carmel to proceed with the work.

 

Appeal of Notice of Violation.

   (a)   Any entity receiving a notice of violation may appeal the determination of violation to the effect that a notice of violation or order served in accordance with this Article is in error, or should, due to hardship, be modified or entitled to a variance from enforcement, or that a reasonable extension of time for the compliance should be granted upon the grounds of a demonstrated case of hardship and evidence of an actual undertaking to correct the violation, together with a legitimate intent to comply within a reasonable time period, may appeal to the Board of Public Works for rescission of the notice or order, or for a modification, variance, or extension of time for compliance.

   (b)   A request for rescission, modification, variance, or extension of time shall be made in writing, to the City of Carmel Clerk/Treasurer's Office, to be placed on the Board of Public Works and Safety agenda, within ten days of the appellant's receipt of a copy of the notice or order. The Board of Public Works and Safety shall schedule a hearing within 30 days of receipt of the request.

   (c)   All hearings before the Board of Public Works and Safety shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, and any persons whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard.

   (d)   Prior to ruling on an appeal, the Board of Public Works and Safety shall make the following findings:

      (1)   The violator was served with a notice or order.

      (2)   The notice or order that was served stated the specific nature of the violation; corrective action to be taken to abate the violation; and a specific time period for abatement of violation.

      (3)   Within the time period stipulated by the notice or order, the violator failed to comply by not abating the violation, and/or not bringing into compliance with this Article.

      (4)   Upon expiration of the date indicated for compliance in the notice or order, the premises was being maintained in violation of specific provisions of this Article and/or conditions imposed by Board of Public Works and Safety as a prerequisite to the modification of a previous compliance order.

      (5)   Determination that a violation exists on the premises.

   (e)   At the conclusion of the hearing at which a continuance is not granted, the Board of Public Works and Safety may reverse, affirm, or modify the order, notice, requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as justice would require. The Board's determination and findings of fact shall be recorded and if a notice or order is affirmed or modified, the Board of Public Works and Safety shall, in the determination on appeal, reestablish a reasonable timeline to make the repairs and improvements required to bring the dwelling unit or structure into compliance with the provisions of this Article.

   (f)   Any entity, whether or not a previous party of the appeal, shall have the right to apply to the appropriate court for a writ of certiorari to correct errors of law.

   (g)   Appeals of notices and orders (other than imminent danger notices) shall stay the enforcement of the notice and order until the Board of Public Works and Safety hears rules on the appeal.

Transfer of Ownership.

   No owner of any premise upon whom a notice of violation has been served shall sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of to another until the provisions of the notice of violation have been complied with, or until such owner first furnishes the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any compliance order or notice of violation issued by the City of Carmel and furnishes to the City of Carmel a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such notice of violation and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making corrections or repairs required by such notice of violation.

Penalties for Violations.

   Violations of this Article are subject to civil fines and penalties.

LINKS:

The City of Carmel Stormwater Technical Standards Manual

Carmel Stormwater Ordinance