The Town of Framingham has enacted stormwater bylaws in order to comply with state and federal regulation and to manage stormwater in a responsible and sustainable manner. The Town of Framingham 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 Town of Framingham will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The Town of Framingham, 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 Town of Framingham has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
Section 26: Illicit Discharges to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System
The purpose of the bylaw is to eliminate non-stormwater discharges to the Town of Framingham’s municipal separate storm sewer system. Non-stormwater discharges contain contaminants and supply additional flows to the Town’s storm drain system. Both increased and contaminated stormwater runoff are major causes of:
- impairment of water quality and flow in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands and groundwater;
- contamination of drinking water supplies;
- alteration or destruction of aquatic and wildlife habitat; and
Regulation of illicit connections and discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system is necessary for the protection of the Town of Framingham’s natural resources, municipal facilities, and to safeguard the public health, safety, welfare and the environment.
The objectives of the bylaw are:
- To prevent pollutants from entering the Town’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4);
- To prohibit illicit connections and unauthorized discharges to the MS4;
- To require the removal of all such illicit connections;
- To comply with state and federal statutes and regulations relating to stormwater discharges; and
- To establish the legal authority to ensure compliance with the provisions of the bylaw through inspection, monitoring, and enforcement.
Unless a different definition is indicated in other sections of this bylaw, the following definitions and provisions shall apply throughout this article, also referred to in this article, as this bylaw.
Applicable Authority: The employees and/or agents of the Department of Public Works, Department of Conservation, Department of Building Inspection, and Board of Health designated to enforce this bylaw.
Best Management Practice (BMP): An activity, procedure, restraint, or structural improvement that helps to reduce the quantity or improve the quality of stormwater runoff.
Clean Water Act: The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. sec. 1251 et seq.) as hereafter amended.
Discharge of Pollutants: The addition from any source of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into the municipal storm drain system or into the Wetland Resource Areas from any source.
Discharger: A person or persons who discharge any pollutant or combination of pollutants into the municipal storm drain system or into the Wetland Resource Areas from any source.
Groundwater: Water beneath the surface of the ground.
Illicit Connection: A surface or subsurface drain or conveyance, which allows an illicit discharge into the municipal storm drain system, including without limitation sewage, process wastewater, or wash water and any connections from indoor drains, sinks, or toilets, regardless of whether said connection was previously allowed or approved before the effective date of this bylaw.
Illicit Discharge: Direct or indirect discharge to the municipal storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater except as exempted herein.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE): One of six Minimum Control Measures regulated under the Town’s NPDES Phase II MS4 Permit. The federal regulation governing implementation of the IDDE program under this permit is Section (b)(3) of CFR 122.34, “Storm Water Phase II Regulations.”
Impervious Surface: Any material or structure on or above the ground that prevents water infiltrating the underlying soil. Impervious surface includes without limitation roads, paved parking lots, sidewalks and roof tops.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) or Municipal Storm Drain System: The system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, including any road with a drainage system, street, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, natural or man-made or altered drainage channel, reservoir, and other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the Town of Framingham.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Discharge Permit: A permit issued by United States Environmental Protection Agency or jointly with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that authorizes and regulates the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.
Non-Stormwater Discharge: Discharge to the municipal storm drain system not composed entirely of stormwater.
Notice of Violation: A written notice given to a person by the Applicable Authority that states that said person has violated this bylaw on any specified occasion.
Person: An individual, partnership, association, firm, company, trust, corporation, agency, authority, department or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or the federal government, to the extent permitted by law, and any officer, employee, or agent of such person.
Pollutant: Any element or property of sewage, agricultural, industrial or commercial waste, runoff, leachate, heated effluent, or other matter whether originating at a point or nonpoint source, that is or may be introduced into any Wetland Resource Areas. Effluent waters from dewatering operations are adequately regulated under NPDES. Pollutants shall include without limitation:
- paints, varnishes, and solvents;
- oil and other automotive fluids;
- non-hazardous liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes;
- refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, ordnances, accumulations and floatables;
- pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers;
- hazardous materials and wastes;
- sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens;
- dissolved and particulate metals;
- animal wastes;
- rock, sand, salt soils;
- construction wastes and residues; and
- noxious or offensive matter of any kind
- vegetable oil and waste vegetable oil
Process Wastewater: Water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any material, intermediate product, finished product, or waste product.
Recharge: The process by which groundwater is replenished by precipitation through the percolation of runoff and surface water through the soil.
Stormwater: Runoff from precipitation or snow melt.
Toxic or Hazardous Material or Waste: Any material, which because of its quantity, concentration, chemical, corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious or radioactive characteristics, either separately or in combination with any substance or substances, constitutes a present or potential threat to human health, safety, welfare, or to the environment as defined under G.L. Ch. 21C and Ch. 21E, and the regulations at 310 CMR 30.000 and 310 CMR 40.0000. Toxic or hazardous materials include any synthetic organic chemical, petroleum product, heavy metal, radioactive or infectious waste, acid and alkali, and any substance defined as Toxic or Hazardous under these laws and regulations.
Watercourse: A natural or man-made channel through which water flows or a stream of water, including a river, brook or underground stream.
Wetland Resource Areas: All wetlands and watercourses protected under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Framingham Wetlands Protection Bylaw.
Wastewater: Any sanitary waste, sludge, or septic tank or cesspool overflow, and water that during manufacturing, cleaning or processing, come into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished product, byproduct or waste product.
This bylaw shall apply to flows entering the municipally owned storm drainage system, a watercourse, and any Wetland Resource Areas located within the boundaries of the Town of Framingham.
26.7 Prohibited Activities
Illicit Discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause or allow to be discharged any pollutant or nonstormwater discharge into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), into a watercourse, or into the Wetland Resource Areas.
Illicit Connections: No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drain system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation or custom at the time of connection.
Obstruction of Municipal Storm Drain System (MS4). No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the MS4 without prior consent from the Applicable Authority. No person shall dump or dispose of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, etc.) into the open watercourses (swales, brooks and streams) that make up the MS4.
Other Prohibited Activities.
- No person shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, water or any other liquid, on to the streets, sidewalks, or ways of the Town in such a manner as to cause an obstruction of traffic or to endanger travel by freezing or otherwise.
- Drains – No one shall tie any pump, cellar, yard, roof or area drain directly into the storm water drainage system without approval from the Applicable Authority.
- Catch Basins – No person shall directly or indirectly pump, discharge or cause or allow to be discharged into any catch basin, any solid waste, construction debris, paint or paint product, antifreeze, hazardous waste, oil, gasoline, grease and all other automotive and petroleum products, solvents and degreasers, drain cleaners, commercial and household cleaners, soap, detergent, ammonia, food and food waste, grease or yard waste, animal feces, dirt, sand gravel or other pollutant. Any person determined by the Applicable Authority to be responsible for the discharge of any of the above substances to a catch basin and any other portions of the storm water system impacted according to Town standards and requirements or paying the cost for such cleaning. In addition, the person shall be responsible for paying any penalties assessed by the Town.
- Septage – No person shall discharge or cause or allow to be discharged any septage, or septage tank or cesspool overflow into the Town’s storm water drainage system.
- Storage & Disposal of Hazardous Material – No one shall dispose of anything other than clear water into the Town’s storm drainage system. The disposal of waste, gasoline or any other hazardous material into the storm drainage system is strictly prohibited and is in violation of state and federal pollution laws.
- Private Drainage Systems – It is prohibited for anyone with a private drainage system from tying into the public storm water disposal system without written approval from the Applicable Authority. The maintenance of any and all private drainage systems shall be the responsibility or the owners.
Discharges or flows resulting from firefighting activities or other authorized hydrant use are exempt.
The following non-stormwater discharges or flows are exempt from the prohibitions of this bylaw provided that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the municipal storm drain system:
- Waterline flushing;
- Water from exterior foundation drains, footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, or air conditioning condensation;
- Discharge from landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
- Water from individual residential car washing;
- Discharge from dechlorinated swimming pool water (less than one ppm chlorine) provided the water is allowed to stand for one week following last chlorination prior to draining and the pool is drained in such a way as not to cause a nuisance;
- Discharge from street sweeping;
- Flow from potable water sources;
- Natural flow from riparian habitats and wetlands;
- Diverted stream flow;
- Rising groundwater;
- Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration as defined in 40 CFR 35.2005(20), or uncontaminated pumped groundwater (e.g. sump pump), provided that the operator seeks written approval from the Applicable Authority prior to discharge, and thereafter discharges in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations to be issued by the Applicable Authority;
- Dye testing, provided verbal notification is given to the Applicable Authority prior to the time of the test;
- Non-stormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order administered under the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharge is in full compliance with the requirements of the written approval, waiver, or order and applicable laws and regulations; and
- Discharge for which advanced written approval is received from the Applicable Authority as necessary to protect the public interest.
26.9 Emergency Suspension of Storm Drainage System Access
The Applicable Authority may suspend municipal storm drain system access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge of pollutants that presents imminent risk or harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the Applicable Authority ma take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.
A person commits an offense if the person reinstates water service, sanitary sewer service, and or MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this bylaw, without the prior written approval of the Applicable Authority.
26.10 Industrial or Construction Activity Discharges
NPDES Stormwater Permit
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity NPDES storm water discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of such permit. Proof of compliance with said permit may be required in a form acceptable to the Applicable Authority prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
Monitoring of Discharges
Upon notice of an alleged illicit discharge or connection, the Applicable Authority have the right to investigate any facility that has storm water discharges associated with industrial activity, including construction activity. The exercise of this right does not constitute a replacement or substitution for enforcement by federal or state agencies for facilities that are adequately regulated either under a NPDES permit or, if a violation is determined to have occurred, under 310 CMR 40.00, the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.
Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes, or such person’s lessee, shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse. Failure by the property owner to maintain the watercourse does not constitute an obligation on the part of the Town to assume this responsibility.
26.11 Notification of Spills
Notwithstanding other requirements of local, state or federal law, as soon as a person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of or suspects a release of materials at that facility or operation resulting in or which may result in discharge of pollutants to the municipal drainage system or Wetland Resource Areas, the person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment, and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the person shall immediately notify the municipal fire and police departments. In the event of a release of non-hazardous materials, the reporting person shall notify the Applicable Authority not later than the next business day. The reporting person shall provide to the Applicable Authority written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile or in-person notifications within three business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or operator of the facility shall retain on-site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
The Applicable Authority or an authorized agent of the Applicable Authority shall enforce this bylaw, regulations, orders, violation notices, and enforcement orders, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.
26.13 Entry to Perform Duties
To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the Applicable Authority may enter upon privately owned property for the purpose of performing their duties under these regulations and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the Applicable Authority deems reasonably necessary.
26.14 Civil Relief
If a person violates the provisions of this bylaw, regulations, written approval, notice or order issued thereunder, the Applicable Authority may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
The Applicable Authority may issue a written order to enforce the provisions of this bylaw or the regulations thereunder, which may include: (a) elimination of illicit connections or discharges to the MS4; (b) performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting; (c) that unlawful discharges, practices, or operations shall cease and desist; (d) remediation of contamination in connection therewith; and (e) implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
If the enforcing person determines that abatement or remediation of contamination is required, the order shall set forth a deadline by which such abatement or remediation must be completed. Said order shall further advise that, should the violator or property owner fail to abate or perform remediation within the specified deadline, the Town may, at its option, undertake such work, and expenses thereof shall be charged to the violator.
Within thirty (30) days after completing all measures necessary to abet the violation or to perform remediation, the violator and the property owner will be notified of the costs incurred by the Town, including administrative costs. The violator or property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount or basis of costs with the Applicable Authority within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notification of the costs incurred. If the amount due is not received by the expiration of the time in which to file a protest or within thirty (30) days following a decision of the Applicable Authority affirming or reducing the costs, or from a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the costs shall become a special assessment against the property owner and shall constitute a lien on the owner’s property for the amount of said costs. Interest shall being to accrue on any unpaid costs at the statutory rate provided in G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 57 after the thirty-first day at which the costs first become due.
26.16 Non-Criminal Disposition
As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the Town may elect to utilize the non-criminal disposition procedure set forth in G.L. Ch. 40, sec. 21D in which case the Applicable Authority shall be the enforcing person. For non-criminal disposition, the penalty for the first violation shall be one hundred dollars ($100), the penalty for the second violation shall be two hundred dollars ($200), and the penalty for the third and subsequent violations shall be three hundred dollars ($300). Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
26.17 Criminal Penalty
Any person who violates any provision of this bylaw, regulation, order or written approval issued thereunder, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300) per violation. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The decisions or orders of the Applicable Authority shall be final. Further relief shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction.