City of Allentown


The City of Allentown has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to control the quality of storm water drainage flowing through the municipal storm sewer and into the waters of the Commonwealth and of the United States and to protect the public health, safety, welfare, and recreational opportunities of the inhabitants of the City. The City of Allentown 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 Allentown will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Allentown, 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 Allentown has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

Excerpt from Title 5 - Sewers

942.2 GENERAL MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM WATER SYSTEM USE REQUIREMENTS

Standards for Admission of Waste into Storm Sewer

A. Residential, commercial or industrial property may be connected to the storm sewer system or may continue the discharge of waste to the storm sewer system providing the waste to be discharged thereto conforms to the following:

  1. All discharge of waste to storm sewers shall be in compliance with the laws or regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the Federal government or any agency thereof having jurisdiction over streams, rivers, waterways or water resources.
  2. No waste other than:
  • potable water
  • potable water line flushing
  • natural uncontaminated surface or ground water
  • runoff from lawn watering provided such runoff is not polluted with pesticides or herbicides or other lawn maintenance materials
  • runoff from residential car washing
  • swimming pool drainage free of residual chlorine
  • unadulterated rain, roof or surface drainage water
  • runoff from firefighting activities
  • air conditioning condensate
  • uncontaminated non-contact cooling water shall be discharged into a storm sewer and the City may regulate the rate of discharge of such waste into a storm sewer.

B. No person shall drain any water except storm water or authorized discharges into any drainage ditch or basin which will ultimately, by natural flow or otherwise, enter into the storm sewer system, or into a stream, river or watercourse. No user shall introduce or cause to be introduced into the municipal separate storm sewer any illicit discharge, spills or materials other than stormwater or authorized discharges. No person shall drain any water, except storm water or authorized discharges, into any gutter, street or pavement. These general prohibitions apply to all users of the municipal separate storm sewer.

C. All present connections to the storm sewer system that are in violation of any provision of this Article, and that the owner has knowledge of, shall be abated within 180 days of the passage of this ordinance and application to connect to the storm sewer system under the provisions of this Article shall be submitted to the Manager of Water Resources, 112 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102

D. Upon discovery by the City of a connection to the storm sewer that is in violation of this article, notice shall be sent to the owner of such connection and the owner shall reconnect as directed.

Best Management Practices

During the development of any property within the City, a subdivider or person responsible or in control of said development must use best management practices for the control of the quality of storm water drainage originating from the subject property. Additionally, best management practices in combination with any necessary long-term water quality facilities are required to ensure continuing compliance with the provisions of the Land Development and Subdivision Ordinance, the Land Development Controls Ordinance, the Flood Control Ordinance and the Storm Water Management Ordinance.

Violation of the City's NPDES Permit

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or contribute to any deleterious effect on any receiving stream, or to contribute to a violation of the City's NPDES storm water discharge permit.

B. A substantial contribution to a violation of the City's NPDES storm water discharge permit may be found when the nature of a user's discharge, either individually or cumulatively with the discharges of other users, causes the discharge at one of the City's discrete outfalls to require remediation under the terms of the NPDES permit.

C. Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, if the City is required by the EPA, DEP or other regulatory agency to prepare and submit any type of remediation plan to ensure the City's compliance with Federal and State laws, regulations or permits, any user who causes or substantially contributes to the situation requiring remediation shall provide such financial and technical assistance required by the City to develop the required plan in a proportion appropriate to the impact of that user's discharge upon the situation requiring remediation.

Notice of Violation

Whenever the City finds that any user has violated, or is violating this ordinance, or has caused or substantially contributed to or is causing or substantially contributing to a violation by the City of Allentown of the terms of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit conditions or of any other Federal or State laws to which the municipal separate storm sewer is subject, the Manager of Water Resources or his designated agent, may serve upon such person written notice stating the nature of the violation. The Manager of Water Resources or his designated agent, may require any such person to comply with the analysis, monitoring, treatment or reporting requirements of sections 3, 4 and 5 of this ordinance as he deems necessary to bring about compliance. Within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice, a plan for the satisfactory correction of all violations shall be submitted to the Manager of Water Resources by such person. Submission of this plan in no way relieves the user of liability for violations occurring before or after receipt of the Notice of Violation. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the Manager of Water Resources to take any action, including emergency actions or any other enforcement action, without first issuing a Notice of Violation.

Imminent or Substantial Endangerment of Persons or the Environment

When, in the opinion of the Manager of Water Resources or his designated agent, it is necessary to stop discharge originating from a property to the municipal separate storm sewer which represents an actual or threatened reduction of the quality of storm water drainage which presents or may present an imminent or substantial endangerment to the health, safety or welfare of persons or the environment, he may suspend the provision of storm water drainage utility services to any such property and/or order the owner of such property to take immediate action to stop or eliminate the offending discharge or discharges.

In the event of a failure of the responsible user to take immediate, voluntary action to comply with the order, the Manager of Water Resources shall take such steps as deemed necessary, including but not limited to, the immediate impoundment of storm water drainage to prevent or minimize damage to individuals or the environment. The Manager of Water Resources may also initiate appropriate legal action in the name of the City.

A detailed written statement shall be submitted by the offending party to the Manager of Water Resources describing the causes of the offending discharge or discharges and the measures taken to prevent any future occurrence of the same within five (5) days of the date of notice from the City.

942.4 - REPORTING

Stormwater Analysis

When required by the Manager of Water Resources, a user must submit information on the nature and characteristics of its stormwater within ninety (90) days of the request. The Manager of Water Resources is authorized to prepare a form for this purpose and may periodically require users to update this information.

Analytical Requirements

All pollutants analyses, including sampling techniques, to be submitted as part of a stormwater discharge report shall be performed in accordance with the techniques prescribed in 40 CFR Part 136. If 40 CFR Part 136 does not contain sampling or analytical techniques for the pollutant in question, sampling and analyses must be performed in accordance with procedures in the latest edition of "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater".

Report Signatories and Certification

All reports must be signed by an authorized representative of the user and contain the following certification statement:

"I certify under penalty of law that this document and all attachments were prepared under my direction or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate the information submitted. Based on my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system, or those persons directly responsible for gathering the information, the information submitted is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations."

Compliance Schedule Progress Reports

The following conditions shall apply to any compliance schedule required by Section 3.1 of this ordinance:

A. The schedule shall contain progress increments in the form of dates for the commencement and completion of major events leading to the construction and operation of additional treatment required for the user to meet the applicable storm water standards (such events include, but are not limited to, hiring an engineer, completing preliminary and final plans, executing contracts for major components, commencing and completing construction, and beginning and conducting routine operation);

B. No increment referred to above shall exceed nine (9) months nor shall the total time exceed twenty four 24 months.

C. The user shall submit a progress report to the Manager of Water Resources no later than fourteen (14) days following each date in the schedule and the final date of compliance including, as a minimum, whether or not it complied with the increment of progress, the reason for any delay, and, if appropriate, the steps being taken by the user to return to the established schedule; and

D. In no event shall more than nine (9) months elapse between such progress reports to the Manager of Water Resources.

Periodic Compliance Reports

A. When required users shall, at a frequency determined by the Manager of Water Resources, submit a report indicating the nature and concentration of pollutants in the discharge during a representative storm event. All periodic compliance reports must be signed and certified in accordance with Section 4.3 of this ordinance.

B. All samples shall be collected from the discharge resulting from a storm event that is greater than 0.1 inch and at least 72 hours from the previously measurable (greater than 0.1 inch rainfall) storm event. Where feasible, the variance in the duration of the event and the total rainfall of the event should not exceed 50 percent from the average or median rainfall event in that area. A flow-weighted composite shall be taken for either the entire discharge or for the first three hours of the discharge. The flow-weighted composite sample for a storm water discharge may be taken with a continuous sampler or as a combination of a minimum of three sample aliquots taken in each hour of discharge for the entire discharge or for the first three hours of the discharge, with each aliquot being separated by a minimum period of fifteen minutes. However, a minimum of one grab sample may be taken for storm water discharges from holding ponds or other impoundments with a retention period greater than 24 hours. For a flow-weighted composite sample, only one analysis of the composite of aliquots is required. Temperature, pH, cyanide, total phenols, residual chlorine, oil and grease, fecal coliform, and fecal streptococcus where required shall be grab samples.

All stormwater samples must be representative of the user's discharge. The failure of a user to keep its monitoring facility in good working order shall not be grounds for the user to claim that sample results are unrepresentative of its discharge.

C. If a user subject to the reporting requirement in this section monitors any pollutant, by generally accepted methods, more frequently than required by the Manager of Water Resources, the results of such monitoring shall be included in the report.

Reports of Changed Conditions

Each user must notify the Manager of Water Resources of any planned significant changes to the user's operations or system which might alter the nature, quality, or volume of its stormwater discharge at least ninety (90) days before the change.

A. The Manager of Water Resources may require the user to submit such information as may be deemed necessary to evaluate the changed condition.

B. For purposes of this requirement, significant changes include, but are not limited to, flow increases and the discharge of any previously unreported pollutants.

Reports of Potential Problems

A. In the case of any discharge, including, but not limited to, accidental discharges, discharges of a non-routine, episodic nature, a non-customary batch discharge, or a slug load, that may cause potential problems for the municipal separate storm sewer, the user shall immediately telephone and notify the Manager of Water Resources of the incident. This notification shall include the location of the discharge, type of discharge, concentration and volume, if known, and corrective actions taken by the user.

B. Within five (5) days following such discharge, the user shall, unless waived by the Manager of Water Resources, submit a detailed written report describing the cause(s) of the discharge and the measures to be taken by the user to prevent similar future occurrences. Such notification shall not relieve the user of any expense, loss, damage, or other liability which may be incurred as a result of damage to the municipal separate storm sewer, natural resources, or any other damage to person or property; nor shall such notification relieve the user of any fines, penalties, or other liability which may be imposed pursuant to this ordinance.

C. A notice shall be permanently posted on the user's bulletin board or other prominent place advising employees whom to call in the event of a discharge described in paragraph A, above. Employers shall ensure that all employees, who may cause such a discharge to occur, are advised of the emergency notification procedure.

Record Keeping

Users subject to the reporting requirements of this ordinance shall retain, and make available for inspection and copying, all records of information obtained pursuant to any monitoring activities required by this ordinance and any additional records of information obtained pursuant to monitoring activities undertaken by the user independent of such requirements.

Records shall include the date, exact place, method, and time of sampling, and the name of the person(s) taking the samples; the dates analyses were performed; who performed the analyses; the analytical techniques or methods used; and the results of such analyses. These records shall remain available for a period of at least three (3) years. This period shall be automatically extended for the duration of any litigation concerning the user or the City, or where the user has been specifically notified of a longer retention period by the Manager of Water Resources.

942.5 - COMPLIANCE MONITORING

Right of Entry: Inspection and Sampling

The Manager of Water Resources shall have the right to enter the premises of any user to determine whether the user is complying with all requirements of this ordinance and any or order issued hereunder. Users shall allow the Manager of Water Resources ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, records examination and copying, and the performance of any additional duties.

A. Where a user has security measures in force which require proper identification and clearance before entry into its premises, the user shall make necessary arrangements with its security guards so that, upon presentation of suitable identification, the Manager of Water Resources will be permitted to enter without delay for the purposes of performing specific responsibilities.

B. The Manager of Water Resources shall have the right to set up on the user's property, or require installation of, such devices as are necessary to conduct sampling and/or metering of the user's operations.

C. The Manager of Water Resources may require the user, at the user's expense, to install monitoring equipment as necessary. The facility's sampling and monitoring equipment shall be maintained at all times in a safe and proper operating condition by the user at its own expense. All devices used to measure flow and quality shall be calibrated annually to ensure their accuracy.

D. Any temporary or permanent obstruction to safe and easy access to the facility to be inspected and/or sampled shall be promptly removed by the user at the written or verbal request of the Manager of Water Resources and shall not be replaced. The costs of clearing such access shall be borne by the user.

E. Unreasonable delays in allowing the Manager of Water Resources access to the user's premises shall be a violation of this ordinance.

942.6 - CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

Information and data on a user obtained from reports, surveys, and monitoring programs, and from the Manager of Water Resources inspection and sampling activities, shall be available to the public without restriction, unless the user specifically requests, and is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Manager of Water Resources, that the release of such information would divulge information, processes, or methods of production entitled to protection as trade secrets under applicable State law. Any such request must be asserted at the time of submission of the information or data. When requested and demonstrated by the user furnishing a report that such information should be held confidential, the portions of a report which might disclose trade secrets or secret processes shall not be made available for inspection by the public, but shall be made available immediately upon request to governmental agencies for uses related to the NPDES program or pretreatment program, and in enforcement proceedings involving the user furnishing the report. Stormwater constituents and characteristics and other "effluent data" as defined by 40 CFR 2.303 will not be recognized as confidential information and will be available to the public without restriction.

942.8 - ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT REMEDIES

Consent Agreements

The Manager of Water Resources may enter into Consent Agreements, assurances of voluntary compliance, or other similar documents establishing an agreement with any user responsible for noncompliance. Such documents will include specific action to be taken by the user to correct the noncompliance within a time period specified by the document.

Show Cause Hearing

The Manager of Water Resources may order a user who has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this ordinance or order issued hereunder, to appear before the Manager of Water Resources and show cause why the proposed enforcement action should not be taken. Notice shall be served on the user specifying the time and place for the meeting, the proposed enforcement action, the reasons for such action, and a request that the user show cause why the proposed enforcement action should not be taken. The notice of the meeting shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing. Such notice may be served on any authorized representative of the user. A show cause hearing shall not be a bar against, or prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.

Compliance Orders

When the Manager of Water Resources finds that a user has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this ordinance, or order issued hereunder, the Manager of Water Resources may issue an order to the user responsible for the discharge directing that the user come into compliance within a specified time. A compliance order may not extend the deadline for compliance established for a pretreatment standard or requirement, nor does a compliance order relieve the user of liability for any violation, including any continuing violation. Issuance of a compliance order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.

Cease and Desist Orders

When the Manager of Water Resources finds that a user has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this ordinance, or order issued hereunder, that the user's past violations are likely to recur, the Manager of Water Resources may issue an order to the user directing it to cease and desist all such violations and directing the user to:

  • Immediately comply with all requirements; and
  • Take such appropriate remedial or preventive action as may be needed to properly address a continuing or threatened violation, including halting operations and/or terminating the discharge.

Issuance of a cease and desist order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.

942.10 - JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT REMEDIES

Injunctive Relief

When the Manager of Water Resources finds that a user has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this ordinance, or order issued hereunder, the Manager of Water Resources may petition the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas for the issuance of a temporary or permanent injunction, as appropriate, which restrains or compels the specific performance of the order, or other requirement imposed by this ordinance on activities of the user. The Manager of Water Resources may also seek such other action as is appropriate for legal and/or equitable relief, including a requirement for the user to conduct environmental remediation. A petition for injunctive relief shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against a violator.

Criminal Prosecution

A. A person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this ordinance, or order issued hereunder, upon conviction, be guilty of a summary offense, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 per violation, for each day the violation exists, or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both.

B. A person who willfully or negligently introduces any substance into the municipal separate storm sewer which causes personal injury or property damage shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a summary offense and be subject to a penalty of not more than $1,000.00, or be subject to imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both. This penalty shall be in addition to any other cause of action for personal injury or property damage available under State law.

C. A person who knowingly makes any false statements, representations, or certifications in any application, record, report, plan, or other documentation filed, or required to be maintained, pursuant to this ordinance, or order issued hereunder, or who falsifies, tampers with, or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required under this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 per violation, for each day the violation exists, or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both.

Remedies Nonexclusive

The remedies provided for in this ordinance are not exclusive. The Manager of Water Resources may take any, all, or any combination of these actions against a noncompliant user. Further, the Manager of Water Resources is empowered to take more than one enforcement action against any noncompliant user.

LINKS

Allentown Title 5 - Sewers