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    City of San Francisco


    San Franscisco Stormwater Laws & Regulations

    The City of San Francisco has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction.  The City of San Francisco  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 San Francisco will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of San Francisco, 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 San Francisco has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.

    Excerpt-San Francisco Public Works Code Article 4.2 Sections 147-147.6

    Section 147.4.  Compliance with maintenance and inspection requirements

    (a)   All Post-Construction Stormwater Controls shall be maintained according to the Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidelines and the maintenance plan included in the approved Stormwater Control Plan. The person(s) or organization(s) responsible for maintenance shall be designated in the plan. Those persons responsible for maintenance shall inspect the Post-Construction Stormwater Controls at least annually and shall maintain the Post-Construction Stormwater Controls as required by the Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidelines and the approved Stormwater Control Plan.
    (b)   Maintenance and Self-Certification Inspections. Every person who owns, leases or operates any Post-Construction Stormwater Control or Controls must provide annual self-certification for inspection and maintenance, as set forth in the Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidelines.
    (c)   The General Manager may perform routine or scheduled inspections and sampling, as may be deemed necessary in the General Manager's sole discretion to carry out the intent of this Article 4.2 and the Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidelines.
    (d)   Authority to Sample and Establish Sampling Devices. The General Manager may require any person discharging Stormwater to the Separate or Combined Sewer System to provide devices or locations necessary for the Department to conduct sampling or metering operations.
    (e)   Requirement to Monitor. If requested by the General Manager, any person responsible for Post-Construction Stormwater Controls shall undertake monitoring and furnish monitoring reports to the General Manager, as he or she may specify.
    (f)   Notification of Spills. All persons in charge of the Post-Construction Stormwater Controls shall provide immediate notification to the General Manager of any suspected, confirmed, or unconfirmed release of pollutants creating a risk of non-stormwater discharge into the Separate or Combined Sewer System. Such persons shall take all necessary steps to ensure the detection and containment and clean up of such release. This notification requirement is in addition to and not in lieu of other required notifications.

    Section 147.5. Enforcement and cost reimbursement

    Any violation of this Article 4.2 may be enforced by the General Manager pursuant to Section 132 of Article 4.1 of the Public Works Code. Persons violating any provision of this Article, the Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidelines, or Department regulations may be subject to penalties and abatement in accordance with the Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidelines and Sections 133 and 134 of Article 4.1 of the Public Works Code. For Small and Large Development Projects in areas of the City under the jurisdiction of the Port Commission, the Port's Executive Director or his or her designee shall have enforcement authority identical to the enforcement authority referenced in the two preceding sentences.

    Supplemental Documents:

    San Francisco Municipal Code Article 4.2 Section 147-147.6

    San Francisco Stormwater Management requirements (SMR) and design guidelines

    SMR Summary Flyer

    SMR Frequently Asked Questions

    State of California Documents:

    California Stormwater Website

    Stormwater Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTS) Login